HCLS has undertaken this project, funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy Program and Legal Aid Ontario, to address knowledge gaps and define service priorities for Indigenous people who experience homelessness in Halton. The shared knowledge that results will be used to foster strategic partnerships and create an action plan that can be funded through coordination between levels of government or departments within the same level of government. This is crucial, since there is a particular need to build community capacity and partnerships to meet the needs of Indigenous Peoples in Halton.
Project funding has already been used to hire an Indigenous community worker to gather knowledge and carry out qualitative research. A project advisory committee was also formed, consisting of Indigenous service providers from Peel and Hamilton, non-Indigenous service providers from Halton, and Indigenous Peoples with lived experience of homelessness. A project statement of principles was developed to guide the project and to ensure intercultural safety.
The project seeks to answer the following questions:
1. What is the community profile of Indigenous peoples who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless in Halton?
2. What is the experience of Indigenous peoples who are at risk of homelessness or are homeless in Halton?
3. Are there particular elements, issues, types of trauma or other factors that create homelessness in the Indig- enous population?
4. What are their movement and mobility patterns in seeking supports for housing stability? Where do they go for help?
5. What are the relationships between Indigenous peo- ples and the agencies, services and individuals that give them support and/or shelter?
6. What services, processes, approaches and changes would benefit their lives by reducing or preventing homelessness?
The project will proceed in three stages, using a range of methodologies. Stage 1 includes the completion of an environmental scan and literature review. This will be followed by qualitative research including interviews, focus groups and listening circles in Stage 2, leading to the development of a community action plan in Stage 3.