This is Not Home

All women (cis and trans) and gender diverse people have a human right to safe and dignified homes in Canada. Women and gender-diverse people who are multiply marginalized face unique barriers to accessing emergency shelter, housing and housing support. 

Low-barrier, gender-focused drop-in programs play an important role in meeting the basic needs of this population, and provide accessible and meaningful forms of support, social connection and community. 
Our goal was to gather lessons learned from low-barrier, gender-specific drop-in programs and participants who access these services, and use this knowledge to contribute to the creation of appropriate, accessible, secure, and self-determining housing and support options for women and gender-diverse people. 

Project Overview:

This is Not Home (TINH) is a community-based, participatory research project that brings together gender-focused, low-barrier drop-in programs serving multiply-marginalized women (cis and trans) and gender-diverse people experiencing homelessness and housing precarity from across Canada. 

  • Sistering (Toronto, ON) 
  • My Sister’s Place (London ON)
  • Willow’s Place, Mission Services (Hamilton ON)
  • A Safe Place (Whitehorse YK)
  • West Central Women’s Resource Centre (Winnipeg MN)
  • Downtown East Side Women’s Centre (Vancouver BC)

Program managers, front-line staff, member-researchers (women and gender-diverse people with lived experience of homelessness and housing precarity) and program participants from each research site all played vital roles in our partnership. 
Our project aims to learn from the models of practice and service-delivery informing gender-specific, low-barrier drop-in programs, and from the lived expertise of the women and gender-diverse people who access these programs at all levels of the project.

Project Team:

TINH brought together a diverse range of stakeholders who had expert knowledge on gender-specific drop-in spaces. Women, both cis and trans, along with gender-diverse individuals with lived expertise on homelessness and housing, played key roles throughout all levels and phases of the project as expert advisors, project staff, member-researchers and as participants. 

Project Leads: 

  • Aoife Mallon, Sistering (Toronto), project lead, research site
  • Emily Paradis (Toronto), research lead


  • Manisha Rampersad
  • Madelyn Gold
  • Alison Armstrong 
  • Jeanette Blair
  • Mary Vaccaro
  • Kaitlin Schwan
  • Kate Allan

Community-Based Research Sites: Gender Specific Low Barrier Drop-In Programs 

  • Sistering (Toronto, ON)
  • My Sister’s Place (London ON)
  • Willow’s Place, Mission Services (Hamilton ON)
  • Victoria Faulkner Women's Centre (Whitehorse YK)
  • West Central Women’s Resource Centre (Winnipeg MB)
  • Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre (Vancouver BC)

Advisory partners: 

  • Atira Women’s Resource Society
  • Campaign 2000
  • DisAbled Women’s Network (DAWN) Canada
  • Yukon Status of Women
  • And other advisory and knowledge translation partners with subject matter and policy expertise

Lived Expert Advisors (6):

  • Aja Mason, Yukon Status of Women Council
  • Jolene Wilson, West Central Women’s Resource Centre
  • Louise Blakey, My Sister’s Place
  • Victoria Hajny, Willow’s Place
  • Michelle Lee, Willow’s Place
  • Madelyn Gold, Sistering

Knowledge translation partners: 

  • Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (Hub Solutions)
  • Institutes for Research and Development on Inclusion and Society (IRIS)


Publication Date: