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On November 22, 2023, EENet hosted a webinar about research and practices comparing scattered site Housing First and congregate supportive housing approaches. This webinar was presented in partnership with the Canadian Housing First Network and the Housing First Europe Hub and was the fifth in the international Housing First webinar series.

You will hear from experts and practitioners in Canada, the United States and Europe, who will share their research, policies and practices on the following topics:

  • The At Home / Chez Soi project in Vancouver, Canada, compared outcomes of individuals living in congregate housing to those living in scattered site housing — Julian Somers
  • A program in Trondheim, Norway that supports people to move out of congregate housing into scattered site housing — Guro Ulriksen
  • A study in the USA that evaluated place-based and scatter-site permanent supportive housing — Ben Henwood

Originally live streamed on: Wednesday, November 22, 2023, at 10:00 a.m. EST

Download the webinar slides and watch the recording.

Discussant

Mike Allen is Director of Advocacy, Communications and Research in one of Ireland’s leading housing and homeless charities, Focus Ireland. He was President of FEANTSA (the European Network for Homeless Organisations) from 2013-16 and is a member of the European Observatory on Homelessness. He is a member of the European Housing First Hub steering group.

Mike Allen was the General Secretary of the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed (INOU) from 1987-2000 and was General Secretary of the Irish Labour Party from 2000 to 2008. He has published a number of articles on unemployment, homelessness and social movements including ‘The Bitter Word: Ireland’s Job Famine and its Aftermath’ (Poolbeg, 1998) and is co-author (with Lars Benjaminsen, Eoin O’Sullivan and Nicholas Pleace) of ‘Ending Homelessness? The Contrasting Experience of Denmark, Finland and Ireland’ (Policy Press 2020).

Presenters

Benjamin Henwood is the Albert G. and Frances Lomas Feldman Professor of Social Policy and Health at the University of Southern California (USC). He directs the Center for Homelessness, Housing and Health Equity Research at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and also holds a secondary appointment as a professor in the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. Trained a clinical social worker and researcher, Dr. Henwood is an expert in health and housing services research whose work connects clinical interventions with social policy. He is a co-author of the book “Housing First,” published by Oxford University Press, and lead the launch of the American Academy of Social Work and Social Welfare grand challenge to end homelessness. Dr. Henwood’s research has been supported by the National Institutes of Health (i.e., NIMH, NIDA, NIA), the National Science Foundation, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, the Patient Centered Research Outcomes Institute, and Google.org. Dr. Henwood has also served as the methodological lead for the Greater Los Angeles Homeless Count since 2017, which is the largest unsheltered count in the United States. Dr. Henwood received his MSW in 2004 and PhD in 2011 from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work.

Guro Ulriksen is a Department Manager at Mestringsteam in Trondheim Norway, a community-based agency supporting people with mental health issues to live in the community. The focus of Mestringsteam is to assist people living in congregate housing to move into scattered housing of their choice. The goal of the program has been to support people with serious mental illness to become re-integrated in the community and ultimately own their own home. Through this work they have discovered the power of giving people choice about where they want to live despite the prevailing view of them being incapable of living independently. The innovative process behind people moving back into the community has been characterized by people with a “just do it spirit”!

Julian Somers is a Clinical Psychologist and Distinguished Professor at Simon Fraser University based in Vancouver, Canada. Dr. Somers began his career as a psychotherapist and clinical mentor in Psychology, Medicine, and other clinical fields. Over time he shifted his focus to research aimed at preventing addiction, reducing harms, and stimulating post-addiction growth. Dr. Somers has consulted across Canada and internationally to governments, businesses, and healthcare leaders. A frequent keynote speaker at international conferences, he is also actively engaged with community groups and media. Dr. Somers’ work has earned local, national, and international awards for research in the public interest. He has also received academic awards for Excellence in Teaching, Research and Service, and SFU’s Award for Excellence. In recent years Dr. Somers’ work has come under attack from both the BC Government and by advocates for a Public Supply of Addictive Drugs (“safe supply”). He was ordered to destroy over two decades of data, effectively terminating his research program. His academic critics have publicly maligned his research and called for his removal from conference programmes.

The organizers

Canadian Housing First Network - Community of Interest

The Canadian Housing First l Network – Community of Interest (CHFN-COI) assists communities across Canada to develop, evaluate, and improve Housing First (HF) programs based on the Pathways model tested, adapted, and shown to be effective in the At Home  / Chez Soi Demonstration Project.

The CHFN-CoI (formerly the Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest (OHFRN-CoI)), consist of HF champions, HF programs across Canada, policy-makers planners, managers, service providers, researchers, and persons with lived experience, including representatives from the housing, health, and justice sectors and Indigenous housing and support providers.

The CHFN is hosted by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) and Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Housing First Europe Hub

The Housing First Europe Hub was established in 2016 by the Y-Foundation (Finland) and FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organisations Working with Homeless People) along with more than 15 partners.  Since then, the Hub has grown to include more than 37 organizations, cities, government ministries, housing providers and researchers from across Europe and beyond.

The Hub works in partnership with core and associate partners to promote Housing First as the first and central response to homelessness.

Evidence Exchange Network

Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) is part of the Knowledge Mobilization portfolio in the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s (CAMH) Provincial System Support Program (PSSP). EENet moves evidence to action to improve programming and inform policy change.

Our team works closely with researchers, clinicians, policymakers, system planners, service providers, and people with lived experiences to mobilize knowledge and help people connect with each other.

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