Marginalized women (both cisgender and transgender) and gender-diverse people face significant barriers to services and housing. Many are not able to access housing when homeless, and gender-focused housing options are limited or non-existent in some communities. Low-barrier, gender-focused drop-in services may be their only source of shelter and support.
Creating Home Together will design a housing and service model that meets the needs of these traditionally marginalized demographics. This Solutions Lab will use a participatory planning process that engages stakeholders and end-users at 6 different sites across Canada. Together they will design a housing and service model that incorporates drop-in, transitional and permanent housing in a single building.
Key Findings / Key Goals
Create partnerships between those with lived experience and stakeholders whose knowledge and skills are necessary to create durable solutions.
Design housing and services that provide paths out of homelessness for marginalized women and transgender, non-binary and two-spirited people.
Prototype adaptable housing solutions to be integrated into a new housing development that contributes to a mixed-income, inclusive neighbourhood.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Transcending barriers and offering social inclusion
The needs of marginalized women (cisgender and transgender) and gender-diverse people who use low-barrier drop-in services are poorly understood. Most models of adaptable and affordable housing are ill-suited. For instance, services and models designed for women and gender-diverse individuals are not always easily accessible. The Creating Home Together Lab will develop adaptable housing and support solutions that transcend these barriers and offer social inclusion.
Participatory planning workshops
The methodology for the Lab engages end-users at all stages of the project. It will use participatory planning workshops that welcome and amplify the skills, expertise and experience of all participants. Events will foster relationships between participants, and lessons learned will be incorporated into the project phases.
There are 5 phases in the Lab:
- The Definition Phase will see the Lab team formed and the work plan created.
- The Discovery Phase includes the Creating Home Together Discovery Launch Event, with advisory partners and lived expert advisors taking part. Participants will build knowledge about each research site’s local context and explore the problem in greater depth. A jurisdictional scan will document inspiring examples of innovative housing and service solutions, and examine enabling policies and programs.
- The Development Phase involves co-design workshops hosted by a local low-barrier, gender-focused drop-in service. These workshops will help to collect local knowledge from each research site. Participants will also co-design future-oriented experience and journey maps, and create mock-ups of desirable design options.
- The Prototype and Test Phase will collect, synthesize and report findings from the local workshops. The team in Toronto will build two designs for a hybrid housing and drop-in model. This will be shared with Lab participants across the country for feedback. Prototyping also will occur in Toronto, allowing the Lab Team to test the solution in real-time.
- The Roadmap Phase includes reporting the learning, insights and new solutions generated throughout the Lab. Teams also will consider potential goals of each stakeholder group and consider system-oriented solutions to problems identified during the Lab. Partners will then convene in Toronto for the final workshop to provide input and adapt solutions to their local contexts.
Partnership with Homeless Hub
A roadmap report will be created at the end of the Lab. It will contain the participatory planning process used, as well as housing designs, the service models and an implementation guide. Lab material will be shared through a partnership with Homeless Hub using blogs, social media, infographics and more. Solutions also will be presented at local and network meetings and conferences.
Project Team: Sistering
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Project Collaborators / Partners:
- SHS Consulting
- Emily Paradis
- Willow's Place, Mission Services
- My Sister's Place
- Charlotte Hrenchuck
- The Canadian Observatory of Homelessness
- Atira Women's Resource Centre
- DisAbled Women's Network Canada
Get More Information:
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the National Housing Strategy’s Innovation page.