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Policy Report
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The eight projects featured in this report are as follows (the ninth one is dedicated to one of our funders, a supporting organization whose work centres on community based research related to homelessness).
A day in the life is a community-based research project that provided a forum for homeless and under-housed people in Toronto to present their lived experiences of homelessness, poverty, social exclusion and health through photographs and stories. Project participants captured and expressed their daily experiences, challenges and struggles through photography and written testimony. Project partners include Street Health and York University.
A day in the life
Coming Together is an arts-based, community-based participatory research project exploring how women and transwomen with experiences of homelessness build support networks with each other in order to survive. Through painting, drama and photography, women/transwomen depicted their visions and stories of inclusion, friendship and safe spaces. Project partners include the University of Toronto Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, Regent Park Community Health Centre and Sistering – A Woman’s Place.
Coming Together
The Street Health Report 2007 presents the findings of a comprehensive community-based survey of homeless adults in Toronto on their health status and access to health care. The report reveals a detailed picture of the health and daily living conditions of homeless people in Toronto, and outlines an action plan consisting of program and policy solutions to improve the health of homeless people and to ultimately end homelessness. The study was conducted by Street Health, involved extensive community partnerships and employed a team of peer researchers with experiences of homelessness.
Street Health

asleep in Toronto
 is a community-based project where members of the homeless community used Photovoice to examine and document their experiences of homelessness, under-housing and health. Project participants used art to explore housing issues and health, while also engaging in social development and conversations about social change, self-determination, and social- auto/biographies. Project partners include Street Health, the Centre for Arts-informed Research at the University of Toronto and York University.
asleep in Toronto
Count Us In! Inclusion and Homeless Women in Southeast Toronto is a community-based research project conducted by the Ontario Women's Health Network, project partners Ontario Prevention Clearinghouse, Toronto Christian Resource Centre, Toronto Public Health and homeless and underhoused women living in Downtown East Toronto (Inclusion Researchers). The project examined how health and social services in Toronto and in the province of Ontario can be made more inclusive in the promotion of the health and well-being of marginalized groups.
asleep in Toronto
Struggles, Strengths and Solutions: Exploring Food Security with Young Aboriginal Moms is an arts-based research project from Cyndy Baskin of Ryerson University School of Social Work, which implemented Aboriginal research methodologies and cultural protocols. This project explored issues of food security with young Aboriginal mothers in Toronto, including the connections between food security and housing/homelessness, child welfare involvement, poverty and health. Participants used storytelling circles and created an art mural to tell their stories of struggles and strengths.
asleep in Toronto
I WAS HERE is a participatory action research project (PAR) which used photovoice and film as tools for self expression, communication and exploration. Young pregnant or parenting women with lived experience of homelessness learned to photoblog and use digital cameras to present their art work and their concrete ideas for social and political change. I WAS HERE is a project of the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program at St. Michael’s Hospital.
asleep in Toronto
Street Health Stories is a photo and sound installation, as well as a short film, which tells the personal stories behind the statistics of The Street Health Report 2007. A sub-sample of 28 survey participants from The Street Health Report 2007 participated in qualitative interviews about their experiences of homelessness and health, and had their portrait photographs taken. The installation and film were produced by the National Film Board of Canada’s Filmmaker-in-Residence program at St. Michael’s Hospital and employed a team of young women with lived experience of homelessness to conduct the interviews and take photographs.
asleep in Toronto
Wellesley Institute (WI) is the funder for many of the projects in this Collaborative, as well as a funder and a supporting organization of the Collaborative itself. The WI is a Toronto-based non-profit and non-partisan research and policy institute. It works in diverse collaborations and partnerships for social innovation and progressive social change, supports community-based research, and identifies policy alternatives and solutions to issues of urban health and health equity.
asleep in Toronto
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