10 Things to Know About the At Home/Chez Soi Study

Calgary Homeless Foundation
April 07, 2014

On Tuesday, April 8, results of the Mental Health Commission of Canada‘s At Home/Chez Soi homelessness study will be released at an Ottawa press conference. The study followed more than 2,000 participants in five Canadian cities.  All were homeless when the study began. Half of them received the Housing First intervention, and half of them did not.  Data was collected from 2009 until 2013.

Here are 10 things you should know about this study.

  1. It is one of the most ambitious randomized controlled trials in Canadian history.
  2. Its $110 million budget was funded entirely by Health Canada.
  3. The decision to fund it was made by the Harper government.
  4. At least 30 separate studies will roll out of this project. More than a dozen have already been released.
  5. For years to come, many researchers will be able to access raw data from the study for further analysis.
  6. The results are being announced in a context of declining federal funding for homelessness. (After adjusting for inflation, annual federal funding for homelessness in 2014 represents just 35% of its 1999 level.)
  7. As the study is being released, use of emergency shelters in Canada’s largest city has been on the rise.
  8. The report is being released amid some evidence that Toronto shelter conditions have been worsening.
  9. Canada’s Minister of State for Social Development is scheduled to attend the release of the study’s findings.
  10. The “intervention” being studied (namely, the Housing First approach to homelessness) was explicitly endorsed in last October’s federal throne speech.

Reprinted with permission from The Progressive Economics Forum.

Nick Falvo is Director of Research and Data at the Calgary Homeless Foundation. His area of research is social policy, with a focus on poverty, housing, homelessness and social assistance. Nick has a PhD in public policy from Carleton University. Fluently bilingual, he is a member of the editorial board of the Canadian Review of Social Policy / Revue canadienne de politique sociale.

Contact him at nick@calgaryhomeless.com. Follow him on Twitter: @nicholas_falvo

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