A Single Step Begins the Journey: Supporting Women Who Are Homeless Through Transition

Regions: North Slave Region

Tags: social sciences, social support, women, homeless

Principal Investigator: Hache, Arlene J (1)
Licence Number: 15588
Organization: Royal Roads University
Licensed Year(s): 2015
Issued: Feb 02, 2015
Project Team: Caroline Johnson (Project Sponsor, Centre for Northern Families), Ann Batisse (Inquiry Team Member, Temiskaming Native Women's Support Group), (Inquiry Team Member), (Inquiry Team Member), (Inquiry Team Member), (Facilitator, Centre for Northern Families), (Transcriptionist, Centre for Northern Families)

Objective(s): To examines how the Centre for Northern Families can effectively support women to transition from the emergency shelter to the community.

Project Description: The change goal of the Centre for Northern Families is to create an organizational culture that attracts qualified staff and builds their capacity to offer a quality, consistent service for shelter residents. This Organizational Leadership Project (OLP) and action inquiry process examines the question: How can the Centre for Northern Families effectively support women to transition from the emergency shelter to the community? The OLP project also provides women who are homeless with an opportunity to influence the design of housing and support services they receive at the Centre. This OLP will assist in the development of a framework for a training and mentorship initiative for the shelter.

Three qualitative data collection methods were selected for this OLP: (a) a learning circle; (b) interviews; and (c) a world cafe. Of these three, the learning circle and interviews are about gathering data; and the world café is about validating and extending the findings of the earlier methods; and engaging in action planning for the recommendations that have emerged. Each data collection method will be audiotaped and transcribed verbatim for participant review and comments. Participants for the learning circle and interviews will be recruited by word of mouth and contact with agencies that offer services to women who are homeless. Participants will engage in a dialogue focused on open-ended questions. The learning circle will involve ten women with lived experience of homelessness. It will be facilitated by an independent contractor and last about two hours long. For women not able to participate in group processes, up to three will have the option of being interviewed. The interviews will be about one hour long. Data from the interviews and learning circle will be analyzed by Project Inquiry Team members separately and then as a group. The findings will be presented at a three-hour world cafe. Aside from participants of the learning circle, the Board of Directors, Executive Director and staff of the Centre will be invited to world cafe.

The results of this study will be presented to women who are homeless that participated in the project. It will also be presented to the Board of Directors of the Centre for Northern Families. It will be presented at relevant workshops or conferences in the NWT and will be published in northern-related journals.

The fieldwork for this study will be conducted from January 30, 2015 to December 31, 2015.