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What’s New

Expiry of Operating Agreements: Study of an Emerging Social Housing Issue in Ontario

The study is being conducted in the winter and spring of 2016. It aims to understand the nature and scope of the issues relating to the expiry of operating agreements, including the origin, context and precipitating factors, potential and actual consequences, challenges, and short-term and long-term solutions to reduce or mitigate the effects of the expiry of operating agreements. The study generated information leading to a better understanding about the political, financial, regulatory/legal, organizational, social and community dimensions of the issue. The study provides information about the needs and responses of housing service providers regarding the ongoing and emerging need for subsidized housing in the community.



Interprofessional Student-Led Clinic

A student-led clinic (SLC) is a mode of healthcare delivery in which students plan and carry out health services under the direct supervision of licensed practitioners. Various other disciplines within have utilized this model to offer services while also providing students with learning opportunities—these include law, pharmacy, nursing, dentistry and physiotherapy. Survey results on 111 student-run medical clinics in the USA showed that most students were motivated by a desire to serve poor people, to spend time with patients, and to learn clinical skills. SLCs in Canada often operate in a manner that embodies values such as health equity, student leadership and inter-professionalism (IP). The incorporation of the IP approach is beneficial in that student learning can be multi-directional such that students benefit from others at different stages of learning, from varied disciplines, from licensed professionals and from the people who access services.

Students in the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, on the East and West campuses, initiated projects to examine the feasibility of establishing inter-professional clinics. The project in Sudbury was conducted in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy. It focused on an identified a gap in health services for poor and homeless people in the downtown core. A needs assessment was initiated in 2014 to examine stakeholder perspectives related to a proposed inter-professional clinic serving poor and homeless people in downtown Sudbury. The needs assessment project involved the completion of 64 individual interviews with consumers (n=26), students (n=14), agency staff (n=10), educators (n=9) and potential host agencies (n=5).



Homelessness in Cochrane, Ontario – Final Report

This report is available in English only.

Click here to view the report


Report on Homelessness in Sudbury: Period Prevalence Count

This report is available in English only.

Click here to view the report



Homelessness forum in Cochrane


Job Posting

Click here to download pdf version.


Conference Agenda

Click here to download the agenda for our third conference. The conference is open for public on Saturday and Sunday.
Thank you.


Registration for our third conference is now open.

Click here to download the registration form.


SAVE THE DATE –November 21st-23rd, 2014 in Sudbury ON

Our PHM conference is fast approaching.

Conference location:

Willet Green Miller Centre
Laurentian University
935 Ramsey Lake Road
Sudbury, ON P3E 2C6
Tel: (705) 675-1151 ext. 5156
homeless@laurentian.ca

Thank you/Merci/Miigwetch


Presentation at the CDSPC Annual meeting, Timmins

Dr. Carol Kauppi and Dr. Henri Pallard are presenting the latest findings from Poverty, Homelessness and Migration on family homelessness in Timmins at the CDSPC Annual meeting to be held on 30th September 2014 between 1 – 4 pm in McIntyre Community Centre, Timmins.

Click here to read a brief description of the project.


Screening of “The Will to Live” at the New Sudbury Library

Screening of The Will to Live at the New Sudbury Library at 7:00 pm

Please join us Wednesday evening, July 24th at 7:00 pm at Sudbury’s main public library branch, located at 1346 Lasalle Boulevard, Sudbury. The Poverty Homelessness and Migration project welcomes you to join us for the free screening of the Award Winning documentary film “The Will to Live”. This half-hour video tells the story of George Stephen, an Indigenous man who lived homeless for twenty years. It traces George’s journey into and out of homelessness through his experiences with people living on the streets and service providers. His story reveals the complex issues surrounding poverty, homelessness and migration for Cree people of the James Bay area and life on the streets in Sudbury, Ontario. This short documentary is not only educational but inspiring and will help paint a vivid picture of the challenges and barriers the Indigenous homeless population continues to face. Come down and show your support to raise awareness of homelessness within our community. We look forward to seeing you there.


Screening of “The Will to Live” at the South End Library, Sudbury

Screening of The Will to Live at the Greater Sudbury South End Library at 7:00 pm

Please join us Wednesday evening, July 17th at 7:00 pm at 1991 Regent Street, Sudbury. The Poverty Homelessness and Migration project welcomes you to join us for the free screening of the Award Winning documentary film “The Will to Live”. This half-hour video tells the story of George Stephen, an Indigenous man who lived homeless for twenty years. It traces George’s journey into and out of homelessness through his experiences with people living on the streets and service providers. His story reveals the complex issues surrounding poverty, homelessness and migration for Cree people of the James Bay area and life on the streets in Sudbury, Ontario. This short documentary is not only educational but inspiring and will help paint a vivid picture of the challenges and barriers the Indigenous homeless population continues to face. Come down and show your support to raise awareness of homelessness within our community. We look forward to seeing you there.


Screening of “The Will to Live” at the Greater Sudbury Public Library

Screening of The Will to Live at the Greater Sudbury Public Library

Please join us Wednesday evening, May 21st at 6:30pm at Sudbury’s main public library branch, located at 74 Mackenzie Street, across from Sudbury Secondary School. The Poverty Homelessness and Migration project welcomes you to join us for the free screening of the Award Winning documentary film “The Will to Live”. This half-hour video tells the story of George Stephen, an Indigenous man who lived homeless for twenty years. It traces George’s journey into and out of homelessness through his experiences with people living on the streets and service providers. His story reveals the complex issues surrounding poverty, homelessness and migration for Cree people of the James Bay area and life on the streets in Sudbury, Ontario. This short documentary is not only educational but inspiring and will help paint a vivid picture of the challenges and barriers the Indigenous homeless population continues to face. Come down and show your support to raise awareness of homelessness within our community. We look forward to seeing you there.


April 10th 2014: Homelessness, Trauma and Art-Based Methods of Healing

by Rose Hanlon

Presentation summary
Experiences of trauma amongst homeless people often differ from the general population in terms of the types, severity, number and cumulative effects. Yet there has been limited research on this issue that has involved homeless or formerly homeless people living in the northern, rural or remote communities of Ontario. Moreover, engaging in art or craftwork has been well documented as a successful form of expression and method of communication when used by traumatized individuals or those with mental health issues; yet there has been little published work examining art as a healing tool for homeless or formerly homeless persons. In the current thesis, the use of a narrative approach with two formerly homeless men enabled them to tell their narratives of trauma and to describe and illustrate the art-based approaches which they have used in coping with traumatic experiences. The participants’ narratives demonstrated resiliency and revealed the varied forms of art and craftwork that were effective as methods of healing. Their descriptions of traumatic experiences while they were homelessness, combined with explanations of their exposure to arts and crafts, also revealed individual and cultural influences on their artistic work. This thesis describes the benefits of engagement with art and craftwork by the participants. Increased awareness about art-based healing methods useful to formerly homeless people exposed to traumatic events can assist communities to improve programs and services in response to disclosures of emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual suffering.


March 6th 2014: Are Experiences of Homelessness a Form of Gendered Violence against Women? A Feminist-Structural Grounded Theory Approach

by Rosemary Muzorewa

Presentation summary
Understanding homelessness among middle aged women has become more important because women are more vulnerable due to the weakening of the social safety net. There is need to examine the social arrangements that shape their experiences of homelessness. Few studies have situated women’s experiences of homelessness within a perspective that focuses on varied social structures of domination. Using a feminist-structural perspective, this grounded theory study sought to discover the meanings that women in Northern Ontario attach to their experiences of homelessness and to examine their perceptions of society’s responses to those experiences. This thesis drew upon 11 verbatim transcripts from in-depth interviews with four participants. The participants were low income women aged 53 to 56 from varied socio-cultural backgrounds. Data analysis proceeded inductively, shifting from narrow, specific observations to broader concepts in order to explore women’s experiences of homelessness with a focus on social justice issues. Findings from the study revealed that violence against homeless women operates at multidimensional levels and includes personal, interpersonal and systemic forms. But most pervasive is systemic violence, which encompasses a lack of affordable housing, unemployment, a weakened safety net, an unfair justice system, discriminatory practices by service providers and limited access to healthcare and post-secondary education. The aim of this thesis is to stimulate positive social change through the formulation of viable social policies that address the issue of homelessness among low income women.


February 4th 2014: The Relationship between Homelessness, Abuse and Trauma: Experiences of Women Living in Northern Ontario

by Darlene Bennett

Presentation summary
In northern Ontario, varied factors including geographic location and the economic situation affect the experiences and needs of homeless women. This thesis explored varied forms of abuse and trauma-related effects among women. This qualitative, phenomenological study utilized a sample of five women, aged 53 to 58, all of whom had previously experienced homelessness and were at risk of becoming homeless at the time of this study. A total of 16 interviews with the five women were analyzed. The results indicated that all of the participants had experienced forms of abuse that began in childhood and progressed into adulthood. Furthermore, the traumatic effects associated with their abuse resulted in adverse, long-term psychological, physiological, and emotional consequences which led to poor social conditions, including homelessness. The women spoke about the problems associated with the programs and services in this geographic area. Understanding their lived experiences may assist with determining the types of interventions required to effect positive social change for this population. This research method is relevant to social work practice because it offers marginalized people an opportunity to address their personal struggles and to engage in the process of initiating social action.


December 4th 2013: Cultural Safety: Working with Aboriginal Peoples

by Erin Vinkle

Presentation summary
There has been a growing concern within the field of social work regarding the importance of providing culturally safe, sensitive and appropriate services for Aboriginal populations and it is imperative to attend to the urgent need for action. However, mainstream social work practitioners may not feel fully equipped with the knowledge and skills that they require in order to provide culturally appropriate services for Indigenous peoples.

In this advanced practicum project, I develop and propose a framework that may be utilized in working with this population. Drawing upon tenets of decolonizing methodologies, the framework has been specifically designed for non-Aboriginal practitioners and staff who are employed by the Canadian Mental Health Association—Sudbury/Manitoulin Branch (CMHA).The project was conducted to enhance services offered by the organization to Aboriginal people.The framework was developed and evaluated with the goal of providing non-Aboriginal social workers with a greater knowledge base to better meet the needs of Aboriginal clients and communities in this region of Northeastern Ontario.

The practicum project was conducted in four steps: (1) discussions with non-Aboriginal staff at CMHA; (2) discussions with Aboriginal partners in the community; (3) development of a culturally competent framework for CMHA services involving work with Indigenous people and; (4) presentation of the framework to an Indigenous Elder to obtain feedback and revise it.The framework developed in this practicum aims to address a gap in mainstream social work with regard to acceptance of and emphasis on learning from Indigenous perspectives and worldviews. Providing culturally safe and appropriate training for mainstream non-Aboriginal social workers may help to improve relationships between Aboriginal people and non-Aboriginal social workers.


December 4th 2013: Homelessness and social policy retrenchments: An Indigenous perspective

by Marc Bedard

Presentation summary
Homelessness and migration are social phenomena that are poorly understood yet continuously on the rise. Within Northern Ontario, First Nations people experience homelessness both on and off their First Nation territories. This thesis examines issues pertaining to social and housing-related policies, which are touted as solutions for living circumstances related to substandard housing and homelessness; with homelessness on the rise, an examination of existing policies and their impacts on homeless Indigenous people in Northern Ontario is critical. The approach to the thesis involved a single case, narrative analysis based on video interviews conducted with a Cree man who had extensive lived experience of homelessness. Utilizing a combination of thematic, critical incident and dialogic analysis, this thesis uncovered some of the relationships between the participant’s 20-year lived experience on the streets and the often inadequate structural and social supports including housing programs. The results revealed that, even though homelessness was the main focus of the study, it was not directly reported as the predominant issue within thematic content; rather, issues relating to mental health and culture were central topics that were given the most attention within the participant’s narrative. The research also suggests that larger historical issues including the trans-generational legacy of colonization and the ongoing structural oppression are significant elements that may reinforce persistent homelessness for First Nations people. This thesis concludes that federal and provincial public housing-related policies intrinsically fail to properly address the holistic needs of Indigenous people.


August 14th 2013 : Speaker Series
Using photovoice methods to explore housing and living conditions in Cree communities and Sudbury

by Henri Pallard, PHD, Associate Director, PHM and Professor, Department of Law and Justice, Laurentian University

Presentation summary
This presentation compares living and housing conditions in Sudbury and two First Nations communities in northeastern Ontario—Constance Lake and Fort Albany. Constance Lake is located on the Northern Trans-Canada highway. Fort Albany is located within the James Bay lowlands in a subarctic climate zone and accessible primarily by air or by ice road during the winter. Homeless and precariously housed people in these three communities were provided with cameras in order to allow them to speak, through their photographs, about their living circumstances. Each photograph tells its own story about couch surfing, sleeping rough, overcrowding, and problematic housing. In recorded interviews, the participants discussed the ideas behind their photographs allowing for comparisons of the varied meanings of homelessness or precarious housing. Photographs and interviews from the participants have been compared to explore similarities in housing issues related to eight themes. The preliminary findings show that the same housing issues impact on people in First Nations communities and those living in extreme poverty in Sudbury. This presentation provides an overview of the eight housing issues and discusses how photovoice methods can become a tool in the struggle for social justice by revealing problematic, hidden aspects of housing. Plans are being formulated to create a travelling exhibit that aims to sensitise people to the living conditions of poor and homeless people in northeastern Ontario and to spur social change.

Click here to view the invitation that was send out for Using photovoice methods to explore housing and living conditions in Cree communities and Sudbury.


July 11th 2013: PHM is in Cochrane for another Period Prevalence Count


July 3rd 2013 : Speaker Series
Aging at Home: Convergence of Housing and Health Policies

by Arshi Shaikh, M.S.W, R.S.W, Ph.D.

Presentation summary
Population aging is one of the most significant trends of the 21st century worldwide. Seniors make up the fastest-growing age group in Canada and the trend is likely to continue for the next several decades. The acceleration of population aging is becoming more apparent in the province of Ontario where seniors account for approximately 15% of the total population. The number of seniors in Ontario is projected to double over the next two decades due to an increase in life expectancy, declining fertility rates and the aging of baby boomers. Despite declining health and functioning levels associated with the processes of aging, many seniors prefer to live at home rather than to move to institutional settings such as long-term care facilities, nursing homes and retirement homes.
This presentation focuses upon the convergence of health and housing policies and illustrates the processes involved in the establishment of seniors’ supportive housing complex in Iroquois Falls, a small rural community situated in the northeast region of Ontario.

Click here to view the invitation that was send out for Aging at Home: Convergence of Housing and Health Policies.

Click here to view PowerPoint presentation of Aging at Home: Convergence of Housing and Health Policies.


June 12th 2013 : Speaker Series
An Analysis of the Documentary Film The Will to Live
and the Development of a Facilitator’s Guide

by Frankie Misner

Presentation summary
This presentation outlines the results of an analysis of the thirty minute documentary film, The Will to Live, created in 2012-2013 by Poverty, Homelessness and Migration (PHM). The documentary focuses on a Cree man from Kashechewan who shares his story of homelessness. The analysis of the documentary led to the creation of a facilitator’s guide to be used in conjunction with screenings of the video in group settings. The facilitator’s guide offers an Aboriginal theoretical framework based on the four stages of the Cree Medicine Wheel. It includes questions to guide individuals in reflecting on the content of the film as well as questions for group discussion. Through the creation of a facilitator’s guide, the educational focus allows for a learning continuum and greater public understanding of the living circumstances of homelessness.

This presentation was part of our Speaker Series, held every second Wednesday of the month for community and research partners, as well as for the general public. We would like to thank all those who attended, in person and via teleconference.

Click here to view the invitation that was send out for An Analysis of the Documentary Film The Will to Live and the Development of a Facilitator’s Guide.

Click here to view PowerPoint presentation of An Analysis of the Documentary Film The Will to Live and the Development of a Facilitator’s Guide.


April 17th : PHM was in Hearst, with community partners

HOMELESSNESS IN HEARST
STUDY ON THE EXTENT
AND NATURE OF HOMELESSNESS

The University of Hearst and Poverty, Homeless-ness and Migration are hosting a forum on the extent and nature of homelessness in Hearst. Research team members led by Dr. Carol KAUPPI, professor of social work at Laurentian University, has presented the findings of a study conducted in Hearst in 2011.

PURPOSE OF THE FORUM
• Provide information to the community about the results.
• Obtain feedback from the community on the findings.
• Review the recommendations.
• Seek input into additional strategies for change with regard to community responses to homelessness.

PLEASE JOIN US
Date: Wednesday, April 17th, 2013
Time: 9:30 am – 12 pm
Place: Université de Hearst Gymnasium
60, 9e Rue, Hearst

For further information, please contact
Lyne Poliquin at lyne_poliquin@uhearst.ca Micheline Lemieux au aclmimi3034@gmail.com
Tel. 705-372-1207

Free event, everyone is welcome!
RSVP if possible; but not required.

Click here to view the invitation.


Wawatay talks about PHM

Dear site visitors,

Here are the links to the two articles Wawatay did on PHM’s journey to James Bay. The first outlines our intentions for our trip before we left, while the second is a follow up article to share how the meetings went.

1) James Bay Homelessness Project on Display

2) Spring Break Up Project Coming to James Bay

We would like to thank everyone for the warm welcome. Our visit to James Bay was quite the experience, full of learning and sharing.


Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 The Poverty, Homelessness and Migration Project travels to James Bay

 (Thursday, March 21th 2013 – Sudbury)   Significant forward movement was cultivated with our community partner’s in Kashechewan, Fort Albany and Moosonee as a result of our meetings in James Bay on March 5th, 6th and 7th.

 In our meeting with the chief and deputy chief, along with one band councillor of Kashechewan First Nation, we presented the results of the in depth policy study that was conducted on flood prevention procedures implemented in other coastal communities in Canada. The results demonstrated that Canada has the technology, man-power and monies to implement advanced flood prevention systems but that these systems are usually not implemented in First Nation communities. The recommendations of the report are in alignment with the current wishes of the band which is to move the community upstream to higher ground.

In Fort Albany we presented the results of the photography project completed with students from Peetabeck Academy documenting the housing and living conditions of people in the community. The deputy chief along with community workers/service providers, as well as elders and youth from the community were present. Following the presentation of the results we held a round table discussion on the needs and concerns of the community, and future collaborative projects were proposed, including conducting a needs assessment by way of door-to-door survey in Fort Albany. PHM has made a commitment to seek additional funding to initiate this new project in Fort Albany and we will remain in contact with the band council on progress toward this goal.

Last but not least, in Moosonee we presented to the mayor, the homelessness worker, along with other service providers and community members from Moosonee, the results of the survey that was conducted last summer on the community’s views on poverty, housing, homelessness and migration. The main points were shared and discussed among the group and many interesting points were added as well. Following the discussion those in attendance participated in a dot-voting exercise to rank the recommendations that came from the results of the study in order of those most to least important for the community. The results of this study and forum will be posted on the website in full in once the official report is finalized.

All in all it was a very successful trip! Before we returned to Sudbury we also proposed to each community – and this was inspired by the work in Kash – a new photography project documenting the spring break up from beginning to end, and over time. This new project is entitled, “The James Bay Sound & Vision Project” and you can find out more about this project through our website in the “What’s New” section.

Research Team:

Carol Kauppi, PhD, School of Social Work, Laurentian University

Henri Pallard, PhD, Department of Law and Justice
Laurentian University

Emily Faries, PhD, Indigenous Studies, University of Sudbury

Roger Gervais, PhD, Project Coordinator & Senior
Research Associate

Mandy Scott, First Nations Communication Coordinator

For more information, please contact:

Mandy A. Scott
Poverty, Homelessness and Migration
Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario
MX_Scott@laurentian.ca
705.675.1151, ext. 5025



HIGHWAY TO THE NORTH

HIGHWAY TO THE NORTH
Cree Narratives of Homelessness

A documentary film exposes the reality of homelessness and living circumstances of poverty

This presentation features a free screening of Cree Narratives: a documentary video and several short films. The half-hour documentary explores the life of George Stephen who struggled with homelessness for 20 years. The short digital stories were made by Cree people living in Sudbury and Moosonee, Ontario who share their life experiences. These stories address the complexity of struggles with homelessness and poverty amongst Cree people in northern Ontario.

The Poverty Homelessness and Migration project team, George Stephen, and Cree individuals featured in the films will be available to answer questions.

The website of Poverty, Homelessness and Migration was launched at this event.

Date: December 5th 2012
Time: 6:00 pm
Place: Rainbow Cinemas, 40 Elm St., Sudbury

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.
All are welcome to this free event.

For more information, please contact:

Suzanne Lemieux
Poverty, Homelessness and Migration
Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario
homeless@laurentian.ca
705.675.1151, ext. 5155



“Winner of the Best Short Documentary”
- Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival (WAFF)

Will to Live: George Stephen On and Off the Street

A documentary exposing the reality of homelessness

This half-hour video tells the story of George Stephen, an Indigenous man who lived homeless for twenty years. It traces George’s journey into and out of homeless-ness through his experiences with people living on the streets and service providers. His story reveals the complex issues surrounding poverty, homelessness and migration for Cree people of the James Bay and life on the streets in Sudbury, Ontario.


During the summer of 2012, PHM worked with the Moosonee Native Friendship Centre amd other community partners there. We conducted a community survey to gather information about the forms of homelessness and poverty, as well as living circumstances and migration. We hired and trained a team of 12 local research assistants. A team from Laurentian University also travelled to Moosonee to facilitate the data collection. Our community research coordinator, Wayne Neegan, facilitated digital storytelling and photovoice workshops.

PHM has held a community forum in Moosonee the third week of February, 2013. They have presented their research findings and have involved the community in the development of recommendations to alleviate poverty and homeless in Moosonee.


Laurentian University

Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation

Social Services and Humanities Research Council of Canada

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