2023 President’s Annual Report
York-led research initiative aims to end homelessness
Right the Future

York’s Canadian Observatory for Homelessness (COH) is leading multiple research projects focused on addressing homelessness for disadvantaged populations

York University’s Canadian Observatory for Homelessness (COH), led by Faculty of Education Professor Stephen Gaetz, is driving positive change through research projects focused on preventing and ending homelessness. 

The COH was awarded $425,840 by Employment and Social Development Canada to assess the effectiveness of eviction prevention and shelter diversion programs in use by communities throughout Canada and the U.S. This project also has a Decolonizing, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (DEDI) mandate, which aims to develop culturally relevant programming. Six community partners are involved, including two Black-led and two Indigenous-led. 

The COH partnered with Na-Me-Res to evaluate Sagatay (A New Beginning), a unique culture-based program providing programming and housing for Indigenous men transitioning from the prison system. The evaluation combines Indigenous and Western approaches to research. 

In collaboration with Faculty of Education Professor Carl E. James and Professor Gillian Parekh, the COH is conducting a study on Black youth’s pathways into homelessness in the Greater Toronto Area.

Nationally, the COH is working with End Homelessness Winnipeg to explore Indigenous Peoples’ experience of migration between urban and home communities.

The COH’s research on youth homeless prevention continues to gain international reach. The Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab was designated a Toronto Centre of Excellence (TCE) by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The TCE has been an important tool for international knowledge exchange and for creating global partnerships.