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New project aims to develop an approach to support thriving following homelessness

Updated: Jul 22, 2020

Too often, researchers and community providers are focused solely on helping homeless individuals secure and sustain housing while other aspects of their lives are frequently overlooked. Existing research suggests that many individuals living with mental illness and substance use difficulties struggle to sustain their housing following homelessness, and continue to experience ongoing challenges with loneliness, pervasive boredom, low levels of employment, and poor community integration. A new project funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research led by Dr. Carrie Anne Marshall of Western University aims to change that.

This community based participatory research project launched in June 2020 in both Kingston and London, Ontario is ongoing and is expected to be completed in the fall of 2021. This project was designed in collaboration with people with lived experiences of homelessness and with stakeholders in the social services and mental health sectors.

Researchers are connecting with individuals with lived experiences of homelessness and service providers to understand what is needed to help a person to thrive after exiting homelessness. With this information, the researchers will collaborate with individuals with lived experiences of homelessness, and support workers in community services to design a model that will target some of the important outcomes that have been challenging to address with existing approaches. This model will be aimed at addressing the many health inequities experienced by recently housed individuals, while also serving as a homelessness prevention strategy.

The project team is currently recruiting participants in collaboration with Home Base Housing, Providence Care and the City of Kingston in Kingston, ON, and The Salvation Army London Centre of Hope, Canadian Mental Health Association, and City of London in London, ON.

The project teams welcome contact by community members interested in this initiative in each respective city. Any questions related to this project can be directed to Dr. Carrie Anne Marshall at

Project team:

Dr. Carrie Anne Marshall, Assistant Professor (Western University, London, ON)

Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, Assistant Professor (Western University, London, ON)

Dr. Fiona Webster, Associate Professor (Western University, London, ON)

Dr. Debbie Rudman, Professor (Western University, London, ON)

Mr. George Panter (Kingston, ON)

Mr. Eric Todd (London, ON)

Mr. Tom Greening, Executive Director (Home Base Housing, Kingston, ON)

Ms. Sarah Collins, Program Director (Salvation Army Centre of Hope, London, ON)

Mr. Dean Astolfi, Director (Canadian Mental Health Association, London, ON)

Mr. Terry Landry, Director (Providence Care, Kingston, ON)

Ms. Karin Carmichael, Vice President (Providence Care, Kingston, ON)

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