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Inaugural Conference on Homelessness Prevention in Quebec

14 February 2022

MONTREAL, February 14, 2022 – The first conference on homelessness prevention in Quebec will be held on Wednesday, February 16. The unique event organized by the Québec Homelessness Prevention Policy Collaborative (Q-HPPC), a joint initiative of the Old Brewery Mission and the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy, will feature an international panel of homelessness researchers and professionals. 

The virtual conference aims to present new approaches to homelessness prevention and support social policy development. it will open with an international panel including York University professor Stephen Gaetz, Vanderbilt University professor Maribeth Shinn, and Saija Turunen, research director at the YFoundation. After the opening panel, two blocks of simultaneous sessions will address homelessness prevention in five specific populations: people being released from prison, youth, people with mental health issues, refugees and immigrants and women experiencing domestic violence. 

“This first Quebec conference devoted entirely to this topic gives us some ideas for the future. However, this is only the beginning of a collective effort that will have to be spread out over many years, because people enter homelessness via different pathways that all need to be examined in detail, and because there is always a gap between the programs that we would like to set up and what is feasible in practice at a given time,” explains Dr Eric Latimer, research scientist at the Douglas Research Centre, Professor at the McGill Department of Psychiatry and Q-HPPC Co-Chair.

The event is in line with one of the Q-HPPC’s objectives: to bring together the respective strengths of academic, government and civil society institutions to develop and propose evidence-based social policies for homelessness prevention in Quebec. The Q-HPPC strives to present policy options that will be the catalyst for the amendment of existing laws or the adoption of new regulations and programs that can help eradicate the factors that lead to homelessness.

James Hughes, President and CEO of the Old Brewery Mission and a member of the
Q-HPPC Steering Committee, is pleased to see the organization officially begin its work to advance homelessness prevention reform in Quebec: “We worked with the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy for several months to assemble the stakeholders and develop a roadmap. Together, we have created the first-ever cross-sectoral collaboration for homelessness prevention in Canada. We believe that the most effective way to eliminate homelessness is to make sure it doesn’t materialize in the first place.” 

“These researchers and professionals will combine their expertise to come up with realistic proposals for ending homelessness in Quebec that take the factors behind it into account,” adds Old Brewery Mission research coordinator Hannah Brais, a researcher and Ph.D. candidate at McGill University.

The conference is free and open to anyone interested in homelessness. It will be held in English and French (with simultaneous translation). Register at https://urlz.fr/hmxQ. 

About the Québec Homelessness Prevention Policy Collaborative
Founded in 2021, the Québec Homelessness Prevention Policy Collaborative (QHPPC) is a cross-sectoral policy collaborative focused on homelessness prevention. Q-HPPC brings together members from academic, government, and civil society institutions to consider options and develop evidence-based recommendations for tangibly advancing policy reform in support of homelessness prevention in Quebec. See the website for information about the Collaborative’s members and activities.  

About the Old Brewery Mission
Founded in 1889, the Old Brewery Mission is the largest resource in Quebec for homeless men and the largest in Canada for homeless women. The Mission works to prevent homelessness in Quebec and provides emergency services, psychosocial support, urban health programs, housing options and support in the community. It also participates in research projects and conducts public awareness campaigns. Designed to eliminate chronic homelessness in Montreal, the Mission’s approach emphasizes access to permanent housing rather than temporary shelter space. Every year, the Old Brewery Mission helps thousands of people rebuild their lives. 

About the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy
The McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy is a multidisciplinary centre for research, training and dialogue on issues of health and social policy. The IHSP conducts world-class research on how social conditions impact the health, well-being and resilience of people and communities locally, provincially, nationally and globally. The Institute collaborates across sectors and disciplines, bringing values and evidence together in support of healthy social policy.

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