Alexandra Nelson

Grant Type

Engaged Research Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Western Ontario, U. of

Grant number

Gr. ERG-17

Approve Date

February 4, 2022

Project Title

Nelson, Alexandra (Western Ontario, U. of) "Nothing About Us Without Us: Redefining Political Engagement with People With Lived Experience of Homelessness in Canada"

People with lived experience of homelessness have often been the subjects of research, rather than the researchers themselves. This research project seeks to upend this dynamic by building on the advocacy work of the Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network (CLELN). In 2014, leaders with lived experience of homelessness met to create guiding principles for researchers and policymakers seeking to work with lived experts of homelessness. Since the original document was published, the need for a more robust toolkit for ethically and respectfully working with lived experts has grown. This research proposes to build an updated toolkit through extensive community outreach, led by a diverse team of lived experts. We are guided by two questions: 1) what would ending and preventing homelessness look like in Canada if it were led by people with lived experience? 2) What does ethical, respectful, and equitable engagement look like during this process? To address these questions, our research team – all people who have experienced homelessness – will hold bi-monthly working meetings, supplemented by focus groups and semi-structured interviews. The goal of this work is to mobilize research findings to inform the policy and programmatic rollout of Canada’s human rights-based National Housing Strategy.