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Immigration and Homelessness Research in Toronto, Peel Region, and Hamilton Dr. Kenise Murphy Kilbride, Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Steven Webber, Co-Principal.

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Presentation on theme: "Immigration and Homelessness Research in Toronto, Peel Region, and Hamilton Dr. Kenise Murphy Kilbride, Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Steven Webber, Co-Principal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Immigration and Homelessness Research in Toronto, Peel Region, and Hamilton Dr. Kenise Murphy Kilbride, Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Steven Webber, Co-Principal Investigator Etta Baichman-Anisef, Project Director Nelson Amaral, Graduate Research Assistant Cecilia Wong, Research Assistant Dr. Sabin Mukkath, Lead Researcher, Hamilton

2 Research Questions: Who are most vulnerable to homelessness among immigrant and refugee populations? What are the links between international migration and homelessness? What are the experiences of the foreign born homeless and hidden homeless in trying to find affordable, appropriate accommodation? What have they found to be helpful, and where have they found it?

3 Methodology Formulate a dynamic approach to identify the factors contributing to homelessness among newcomers Literature Review Key Informant Focus Groups with service providers, housing workers and shelter staff in Toronto, Hamilton and Peel Region Individual In-depth interviews with foreign born homeless and hidden homeless individuals

4 Individual in-depth interviews 100 individuals selected using a stratified non-random selection process Sample included at least 30 hidden homeless Sample quota by regional proportion of immigrants Toronto 60 Peel 25 Hamilton Males and 50 Females were interviewed

5 Key Informant Focus Groups Factors contributing to problems experienced by newcomers in seeking housing: Rent Too High and Social Assistance Too Low Unfamiliarity with How the System Works and Lack of Information Difficulty Finding Employment Mental and Physical Problems and Breakdown Lack of Appropriate Documentation Cultural Barriers: Lack of Cultural Sensitivity and Understanding Racism and Discrimination by Landlords Size of Family (Landlords wont rent to large families) Lack of Links to their Community

6 Trends identified by Key Informants : The number of multiple families sharing apartments has increased tremendously. Homelessness in general is higher. An increase in the number of sponsored immigrant seniors brought to Canada by their children to look after their grandchildren. An increase in the number of children coming to Canada on their own as refugee claimants. More difficulty in finding housing. The waiting lists for shelter use are getting longer.

7 Best Practices in Services to Newcomers Key informants identified best practices - i.e. practices that have been found most effective among the services offered, to alleviate vulnerability to homelessness. An Open Door Policy A Patterned Model Shelter Wrap-around Services Second-Stage Housing Peer Support Program

8 Who Are The Homeless Current Status in CanadaTorontoPeelHamilto n Total Naturalized Citizen30%8%13%22% Permanent Resident43%64%53%50% Currently a Refugee Claimant17%4%20%14% Appealing a negative decision for refugee status 0%8%0%2% Under a deportation order2%4%0%2% Temporary Visitor0%4%0%1% Without Status8% 13%9% Total100%

9 Where are the Homeless Toronto is a major immigrant reception centre, and the distribution of homeless immigrants reflects this. Hamilton, and to a lesser extent Peel Region, are targets of secondary migration. When you first came to Canada, did you come to this city? TorontoPeelHamiltonTotal Yes82%56%33%68% No18%44%67%32% Total100%

10 Housing History Prior to arriving in Canada did you ever live in a residence that you owned or rented yourself? -TorontoPeelHamiltonTotal Yes55%96%87%70% No45%4%13%30% Total100%

11 Individual Interviews Has being a member of a visible minority group contributed to the challenges you have faced? TorontoPeelHamilton Grand Total Yes62%65%60%62% No23%17%13%19% Don't Know/Unsure15%17%27%18% Grand Total100%

12 Individual Interviews If you had trade or professional qualifications from abroad, are they recognized in Canada? TorontoPeelHamiltonTotal Yes11%10%0%9% No74%45%90%67% Unknown/Uncertain15%45%10%25% Total100%

13 Common Threads To Three Sites Overall Lack of Social Capital Participants had: Limited integration with people or institutions that could provide valuable support Difficulty entering chosen profession Economic difficulties from an inability to earn a living in their field Difficulty interacting with Canadians Difficulty finding or interacting with others from their own ethnic group


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