This partnership project builds upon a CMHC-SSHRC Partnership Development grant (PDG), which documented promising practices of shelter/housing for OPEH in three urban centres (Montréal, Calgary, and Vancouver) that have seen a dramatic increase in homelessness among adults aged 50+. “Promising practices” are innovative solutions that have not been subject to rigorous evaluation but hold the promise of supporting “aging in the right place” for OPEH. “Aging in the right place” involves supporting older adults to live as long as possible in their homes and communities, while recognizing that where an older person lives impacts their ability to age optimally and must match their unique lifestyles and vulnerabilities. While the PDG enabled us to identify promising practices that support aging in the right place for OPEH, there is a knowledge gap regarding “what works, why it works, and for whom it works.”
Through a community-based participatory research approach, we will evaluate promising practices across the shelter/housing continuum to determine which promote aging in the right place, the characteristics of promising practices, and the groups of OPEH for which the promising practices work based on intersections of risk (e.g., age, gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, disability, Indigenous status, and immigrant status). Our overall goal is to improve the shelter/housing options to meet the unique and complex health and social needs of OPEH across Canada. To achieve this goal, our specific objectives are to:
- Evaluate promising practices of shelter and housing for OPEH that promote aging in the right place to ultimately make recommendations for expanding a promising practice locally (scaling up) or enabling a promising practice to be adapted in other communities (scaling out).
- Train a new generation of scholars to develop advanced research skills and lines of inquiry on homelessness, housing, and aging research.
- Facilitate knowledge mobilization around promising practices for OPEH in Canada and internationally, while increasing public awareness of OPEH and perceptions of aging in the right place through public lectures, media, interviews, publications, and photo exhibits.