Qualitative description of the transition from homelessness to housing

This study is part of the Housing, Mortality, Research and Advocacy Coalition (HMRAC), a partnership between academic researchers, community agencies and public health practitioners.

In Progress

Homelessness and Housing

Substance Use and Harm Reduction

The transition from homelessness to housing can be difficult for some. Which features of housing programs support people’s health and which may be barriers to success?

To find out, we are seeking insights directly from people with lived experience of homelessness. Using qualitative research methods, we will explore and capture their experiences as well as the contexts that shaped their experiences.

The study team, which includes peer researchers with lived experience of homelessness, are conducting five focus groups and 15 interviews with people who have experienced homelessness or transitioned to housing after homelessness, as well as some social-service providers and health-care providers. Our study summarizes events and experiences through participants’ direct reporting, striving to hear authentic and unfiltered accounts.

The focus groups and interviews will focus on:

  1. Describing the experience of transitioning from homelessness to housing.
  2. Exploring the factors that may have contributed to adverse experiences after transitioning from homelessness to housing, such as feeling isolated and disconnected from social networks, supportive friends and service providers, and familiar neighbourhoods.

The results will identify the factors that can lead to successful housing among people who are homeless as they transition into housing. For example, we will explore whether harm reduction principles are integrated into housing programs. We will then work with people with lived experience, community agencies, and municipal and provincial decision-makers to translate the results into actionable and realistic program and policy solutions.

Homelessness and Housing

Substance Use and Harm Reduction

Dr. Ahmed M. Bayoumi

A general internist and HIV physician, Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi is dedicated to improving health care and quality of life for people who use drugs and people living with HIV.


  • Lambrina Nikolaou (West Neighbourhood House) Principal Investigator
  • Lorie Steer (St. Stephen’s Community House) Principal Investigator


  • Ontario Ministry of Housing’s Innovation, Evidence and Capacity Building Fund


  • St. Stephen’s Community House
  • West Neighbourhood House

Contact Info

Kimia Khoee

Research Coordinator