The Poverty, Homelessness and Migration (PHM) study is a Community-University Research Alliance (CURA) formed to study the factors related to poverty, homelessness and migration in northern Ontario. The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) Â funded this project with a five-year $1,000,000 grant.
PHM is a project of the Center for Research in Social Justice and Policy at Laurentian University. The project is managed and directed by:
- Dr. Carol Kauppi, Director; Professor, School of Social Work, Laurentian University;
- Dr. Emily Faries, Associate Director; Professor, Indigenous Studies, University of Sudbury;
- Dr. Henri Pallard, Associate Director; Professor, Department of Law and Justice, Laurentian University; and
In addition, the co-investigators form a multi-disciplinary research team and include professors from ten disciplines from several different universities:
- Laurentian University;
- University of Sudbury;
- UniversitĂ© de Hearst;
- Nipissing University; and
- University of Western Ontario.
Four First Nations communitiesâ€”three from the western James Band and one inland Cree communityâ€”and three Native Friendship Centres are community partners:
- Kashechewan First Nation;
- Fort Albany First Nation;
- Moose Cree First Nation;
- Constance Lake First Nation;
- Ininew Friendship Centre and Ga Beh Shoo In Menâ€™s Shelter, Cochrane;
- Timmins Native Friendship Centre; and
- Nâ€™Swakamok Native Friendship Centre, Sudbury.
Key community partners come from several northern cities and towns:
- Town of Smooth Rock Falls;
- Nipissing District Homelessness Partnership;
- City of Timmins;
- Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board;
- Iroquois Falls Seniors Apartment Corporation;
- Good Samaritan Inn;
- Social Planning Council of Sudbury; and
- Hearst Community Advocates.
PHM also collaborates with health and social service agencies serving impoverished or homeless people.
PHM focuses on problems of poverty, homelessness, housing needs, and out-migration which must be examined in short and long term ways. An inter-disciplinary project, PHM examines economic, political and social structures that limit the choices available to northern communities attempting to deal with the shortage of housing and overcrowding, poverty, homelessness and migration.
This project is also providing training in community research and will strengthen existing expertise in the North while also sharing and applying knowledge learned through practical projects and social action. Community partners are involved with the research and large scale project design, data collection, analysis, reporting of findings and dissemination of research results.
PHM draws upon a wide range of approaches to research, such as critical social theory, participatory action research (PAR), feminist research and decolonizing, anti-colonial, or indigenous research methods. Research projects in participating communities utilize varied techniques including surveys, interviews and storytelling, focus groups, digital techniques involving video and photography and housing design workshops. In addition PHM organizes and holds training workshops, forums, conferences and various other activities for sharing information across communities.