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Aging in the right place: Building capacity for promising practices that support older people experiencing homelessness in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver
Canham, S.L., Mahmood, A., Walsh, C.A., Sussman, T., Bourgeois Guérin, V., Chaudhury, H., Colgan, S., Dunn, J.R., Henwood, B., Nixon, L., Somers, J.M., & Yan, A. (2022). Aging in the right place: Building capacity for promising practices that support older people experiencing homelessness in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. Social Science Protocols, 1-13.
Background: This project builds upon a pilot study that documented innovative shelter/housing solutions that have not undergone rigorous evaluation but hold the promise of supporting “aging in the right place” for older persons (50+) with experiences of homelessness (OPEH) in Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver. “Aging in the right place” means older adults remain in their homes and communities supported by housing, health, social services responsive to their unique lifestyles and needs. While our pilot study identified innovative shelter/housing solutions that support OPEH to establish and maintain a home and work towards aging in the right place, there remains a knowledge gap regarding what works, why it works, and for whom it works.
Methods/Design: Through a community-based participatory research approach, we will conduct evaluations of 11 different promising shelter/housing practices to determine the types of practices that appear most useful in supporting aging in the right place, and the groups of OPEH for whom 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.
Discussion: Program evaluations will offer practice-based evidence of ways in which promising practices of shelter/housing might serve as best practices for supporting OPEH to establish and maintain a home and work towards aging in the right place. Project findings will inform housing, homelessness, health, and social service providers’ design and delivery of programs for OPEH to improve the sustainability of community housing, build provider capacity, and ensure supports that promote aging in the right place are sustained.
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