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Indigenizing Supportive Housing: The Dual Model of Housing Care.

Research Theme: Innovating in Responsive Land Practices

The dual model of housing care was developed by the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society (ACEH) pursuant to its mission to end Indigenous homelessness on Vancouver Island and in recognition that Indigenous led approaches to ending Indigenous homelessness are needed (1). Differing from provincial supportive housing models, the dual model of housing care integrates cultural support and decolonized harm reduction into housing and service provision; both integral components of pathways toward housing, health and healing for the Indigenous Street Community (ISC). Promise in this model was found while delivering the Priority One program, an initiative that provided culturally supportive housing to the most at-risk members of the ISC (2). Supplemental to this empirical evidence, research is needed to establish this model as an evidence-based leading practice.

If the ACEH is a successful funding recipient, a researcher from UBC will be hired for 8 calender months to complete a comparative analysis between the dual model of housing care and provincial supportive housing models from the BSH Node’s priority areas, including those developed by AMH Ontario and BC Housing (3,4). Research activities will include a literature review, followed by focus groups with the ISC and ACEH staff, culminated by a report. To ensure the safety of the researcher and all participants during COVID-19, interviews will be conducted via Zoom, with support workers helping to facilitate this process for ISC members. A focus of the research will be to identify opportunities and challenges this model presents, ensuring that the model is adapted accordingly to best serve the ISC. More broadly, this research will have implications locally and regionally as Indigenous peoples are overrepresented in the homeless population across all priority regions (5).