The Let’s Talk about Home and Community Solutions Lab focuses on exploring conversations about home and community in Durham Region. It will explore the connections between home and neighbourhood, and the vital elements that help our communities thrive.
The conversations will involve two key groups: people with developmental disabilities and newcomers. Both of these groups face challenges around housing security and social and economic inclusion. Within the Lab, they will think about community and explore their similarities and common goals in securing home and belonging. This will enable community members to explore their own experiences and suggest new ways forward.
3 Key Goals
Strengthen partnerships between community members to address housing security for people with developmental disabilities and newcomers in Durham Region.
Introduce new approaches, human-centred insights and models for improving housing opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities and newcomers.
Reduce stigma, discrimination and stereotypes that are often attributed to individuals with developmental disabilities and newcomers.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Dispelling negative stereotypes and stigma
In Durham Region, most people assume that people with developmental disabilities will always live in residential services or with family. There is little consideration for affordable, secure housing in a home of their own. Affordability barriers are very high because people require affordable accommodation and support for companionship, safety and security. Sharing a home is one way to address this, but potential roommates often hold stereotypes about people with disabilities.
Newcomers are another group of people in Durham Region who struggle with housing security. They often lack the connections, funds or privilege that lead others to secure housing. The stereotypes of newcomers mean that their desire for home, neighbourhood and community often are not met.
These groups have little reason to connect with each other, but they can learn from each other. Conversations offer the chance to explore ways forward, both individually and together, even while dispelling stereotypes. Both parties also might benefit from home-sharing opportunities and other ideas that promote a sense of belonging and connection.
New ways of addressing diverse needs
The Lab will focus on strengthening partnerships among community members and groups to address housing security for these groups. It will explore shared housing models and supportive roommate opportunities that promote their sense of inclusion and community connections. This will help dispel negative stereotypes and stigma faced by both groups, fostering their positive mental health and well-being.
The Lab will use a co-design process that prioritizes gathering qualitative data and information. It will occur over 5 phases:
- The Definition Phase will set the context for the Lab. It will confirm project understanding among the Lab team, external partners and potential participants. A comprehensive stakeholder list, recruitment approach and detailed engagement strategy will be created. Finally, a kick-off meeting will be held with the Advisory Committee.
- The Discovery Phase will be used to locate and frame the problem. A review of similar community design team approaches, supportive roommate models and other solutions will be conducted. Key interviews will be held with subject matter experts.
- The Development Phase will provide Lab participants with the tools and approaches to brainstorm and create some of their ideas.
- The Prototype and Test Phase will focus on bringing solutions and ideas to life in engaging and interactive ways. This will allow participants and other stakeholders to work with the ideas and provide feedback.
- The Roadmap Phase will provide time to choose doable ideas that were prototyped. It also will provide an implementation plan for putting in place the most promising solutions.
Different ways of sharing the Lab model and results
The Lab team has established several different ways of sharing the Lab model and results with interested individuals and groups. This includes the final report, which will collect the Lab event materials and outcomes. A Hosting Toolkit will summarize the Lab’s methods, approaches and recommendations for those who want to replicate its model.
The Durham Association for Family Resources and Support will share the Lab’s results and publications through its newsletter and website. The Sharing Forum lab event will showcase the project’s accomplishments to partners and the community during the Roadmap Phase. The Lab partners also will present the findings and results of this Lab at conferences, such as Community Living Ontario.
Program: Solutions Labs
Lab Title: Let’s Talk about Home and Community
Lead Organization: Durham Association for Family Resources and Support
Project Collaborators / Partenaires:
- Adam House
- Durham Region Non-Profit Housing Corporation (DRNPHC)
- Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI)
- Welcome Centre and Immigrant Services – Ajax, SWIS Durham, and Settlement Services
Lab Consultant: SHS Consulting
Location: Oshawa, ON
Get More Information:
Email email@example.com or visit our website to learn more about the initiatives under the National Housing Strategy.