Knowledge Building & Sharing

Research and Knowledge-Building Initiatives

How can you address a societal crisis like homelessness when you don’t know all the facts? Before we can allot critical resources using a consistent and evidence-based methodology, as well as develop new programs, we must first understand the depth and breadth of the problem.

Knowledge is key to helping homeless people gain greater stability and autonomy. As the largest resource for homeless people in Quebec, the Old Brewery Mission is well-suited to lead the discussion on the problem of homelessness and to generate awareness and insights.

Currently, the Old Brewery Mission is involved in different research and knowledge-building initiatives.

Old Brewery Mission – McGill University Collaboration

Our ongoing collaborative partnership with McGill University generates data and information that continuously informs how we do things and ensures funds are efficiently invested.

Early results of a study conducted by the Mission – McGill research department revealed:

  • Temporary users- who stay for short periods and seldom return to the shelter, if at all, represent 49% of the population

  • Occasional users- who come and go regularly to the shelter, represent 37% of the population

  • Chronic users- who use the shelter as their primary residence and remain for long periods, represent 14% of the population

  • 40% of users will return within a year of their departure from the shelter

  • 65% of users that are forced to leave the shelter will return within a year

Chronic users are the most vulnerable and approximately 50% of our resources are dedicated to services for them. These users:

  • are generally older

  • are more likely to be affected by mental health issues

  • have a harder time following shelter rules

  • are more likely to suffer from a disability

  • have experienced longer stints of homelessness before arriving to the shelter

Differentiating themselves from their younger counterparts, older men (50 and up) living within the context of homelessness, will stay on average an additional two weeks in the shelter. Furthermore, these men are more susceptible to distinct psychosocial needs.

To learn more, visit the McGill Centre for Research on Children and Families.

Conferences & Events Participation

The Mission actively participates in a variety of local and national conferences on homelessness. Our experts share insights from years of front-line work with the homeless.

Our research team have presented results in the following events and groups:

  • Annual Canadian Homelessness Data Sharing Initiative
  • Association francophone pour le savoir (Acfas)
  • Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness’s National Conference on Ending Homelessness
  • Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s Annual Emerging Professional Research Colloquium
  • Canadian Housing and Renewal Association’s National Congress on Housing and Homelessness
  • Canadian Public Health Association’s Public Health Conference
  • International Homeless Research Conference
  • McGill Homecoming Week

Symposiums & Town-Hall Discussions

In 2014, the Old Brewery Mission organized a symposium on housing alternatives. We invited stakeholders in the field of homelessness, as well as professionals in the health and social services network, to discover new housing solutions in the quest to end homelessness.

Having accurate, current statistics and other factual data at our disposal will enable the Mission, government and community organizations to better treat not only the symptoms of homelessness, but also the root causes. It will allow all organizations concerned about the welfare of people experiencing homelessness to plan and tailor policies, interventions and real solutions.

Your generosity helps the Mission undertake vital research. Please consider making a donation.