Report Release – Calling Home: Exploring Pathways to Homelessness in our City
In February 2018, Dixon Hall embarked on our first research project, thanks to funding from the Government of Canada's Innovative Solutions to Homelessness program. Through this research, we aimed to:
- Improve our understanding of the avenues that lead to homelessness and the complex needs of chronically homeless individuals
- Improve our understanding of guests of the Out of the Cold (OOTC) program who resist the traditional shelter system
- Compare the experiences of OOTC program guests with shelter residents including their use of social services offered in the city of Toronto
- Understand where OOTC program guests go when the season closes and how they spend their time
- Test the use of cellphone technology when working with individuals experiencing homelessness
- Empower participants to share their unique personal histories and lived experiences with homelessness and make recommendations for service improvements
We collected data through focus groups, one-on-on interviews, and surveys, taking a community-based participatory research approach which was crucial to the success of the project. We'd like to thank Freedom Mobile for supporting the program by donating cellphones, which we distributed to study participants to keep in contact throughout all phases of the project. We'd also like to thank the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada, all 16 Out of the Cold sites who open their doors to our city's homeless every winter, and to the many passionate advocates who continue to fight homelessness and support the homeless community.
We are thrilled to share our findings, including recommendations for steps forward, in a final report today.