The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) was founded in 2008 thanks to a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) grant that supported partnership building between academics, the homeless-serving sector and beyond. In the years that followed, we built partnerships across Canada and internationally with the common goal of advancing our knowledge and understanding of solutions to homelessness. We received a second SSHRC grant that allowed us to continue this work while also conducting research in partnership along the way.

Over the years, our partners made it clear that the COH filled a unique gap in the sector. Our collaborative approach, knowledge mobilization expertise, and creation of evidence-informed solutions to homelessness supported everyone from service providers to policymakers to improve their capacity to end homelessness. With the end date of our second SSHRC grant on the horizon, we began to think of ways we could sustain our work and support our partners well into the future.

Based on this desire, we came up with the idea for Hub Solutions in 2017, our fee-for-service social enterprise. By this time, we were already well-known in the homeless-serving sector for our expertise in research and evaluation, and communications and design. We were supporting organizations like the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness by evaluating their training and technical assistance program and providing design and communications support to Raising the Roof and A Way Home Canada.

Through Hub Solutions, we support agencies, communities, and policymakers, to improve their capacity to end homelessness. Our philosophy is simple: through research, evaluation, and communications, we can develop evidence-based solutions and together, solve homelessness.

Our mandate is twofold. First, we seek to build the research, evaluation, and design capacity of our partners, with the intention of improving our collective responses to homelessness. Second, income generated from Hub Solutions fee-for-service work is reinvested into the COH to support research, innovation, policy recommendations and knowledge mobilization. 

Some of our most important research to date has been supported with Hub Solutions resources:
• Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey
• Definition of Indigenous Homelessness in Canada
• A New Direction: A Framework for Homelessness Prevention 

And we have much more in the works, including the release of the second national youth homelessness survey results report as well as a literature review on Indigenous Homelessness in Canada coming soon.

To date, Hub Solutions has worked on close to 100 projects with partners such as:
•   The Canadian Human Rights Commission
•   Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
•   The City of Toronto
•   Elections Canada
•   Employment and Social Development Canada
•   End Homelessness St. John's
•   End Homelessness Winnipeg
•   The Home Depot Canada Foundation
•   The Region of Peel
•   Women and Gender Equality Canada
•   Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network 
•   and more.
Want to see how we work? Check out our research and evaluation and design and communications case studies on the Hub Solutions website here. Get in touch if you’d like to partner with us on your next project.