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New Research Findings on Immigrant, Refugee, and Asylum-seekers’ Experiences of Homelessness

The Metropolis Secretariat at Citizenship and Immigration Canada and the Homelessness Partnering Secretariat (HPS) at the Department of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) invite you to a seminar on immigration, housing and homelessness.

Affordable and suitable housing is fundamental to the immigrant integration process, enabling newcomers to secure employment, obtain health care, and participate in local communities and Canadian society. Research shows that recent immigrants are more likely to be living in unacceptable housing conditions as compared to non-immigrants. Homelessness and the risk of homelessness is experienced by individuals and families living in unhealthy, crowded, unaffordable and unsafe conditions. Newcomers most at risk are refugees and asylum-seekers.

The scope and nature of homelessness within newcomer populations will be examined by panelists. Presenters will describe the findings of projects carried out under the Metropolis and Homelessness Partnering Secretariat call for proposals which was launched in 2010. Specific topics will include:

  1. Precarious housing & hidden homelessness among refugees, asylum-seekers and immigrants in Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver
  2. Uncovering invisibility(es): Understanding experiences of newcomer women across the homeless spectrum in Montreal
  3. Exploring the links: Housing & homelessness amongst newcomers to Hamilton, Ontario
  4. Experiences of homelessness among women and families with precarious status

Participation from policy makers and community leaders will ensure a productive dialogue on the challenges and future directions in addressing homelessness among newcomers in Canada.

Panel I: Precarious Housing & Hidden Homelessness among Refugees, Asylum-Seekers and  Immigrants in Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver

  • Dan Hiebert, Professor of Geography, University of British Columbia - Presentation
  • Robert Murdie, Professor Emeritus, York University - Presentation
  • Jenny Francis, University of British Columbia - Presentation
  • Damaris Rose, Professor of Urban and Social Geography, Institut national de la recherche scientifique, with Alexandra Charette, Research Assistant, Institut national de la recherche scientifique - Presentation
  • Valerie Preston, Professor of Geography, York University - Presentation

Panel II: Understanding Homelessness Risks for Vulnerable Groups

  • Experiences of Newcomer Women across the Homeless Spectrum
    Jill Hanley, McGill University - Presentation
  • Exploring the links: Housing & Homelessness amongst Newcomers to Hamilton, Ontario
    Bruce Newbold, McMaster University - Presentation
  • Experiences of Homelessness among Women and Families with Precarious Status
    Emily Paradis, University of Toronto - Presentation

Panel III: Policy Directions on Homelessness

  • Tim Foran, Director,
    Program Policy and Design, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC) - Presentation
  • Jean Seguin, Director,
    Labour Market Access and Client-Centred Program Policy, Integration Branch,
    Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) - Presentation
  • Leanne Holt, Policy Advisor,
    Politique and Research, Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM)
  • Canadian Federation of Municipalities


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