Our first conference, titled “Homelessness in Ontario: What can we do?,” was run in partnership with the Canadian Courage Project and aimed to break down stigma surrounding homelessness among youth. We invited professionals in the field, leaders, and individuals with lived experience to speak about homelessness in our communities with a focus on homelessness as an intersectional issue, requiring significant changes in healthcare, education, housing, and other social services in order to properly address.
The hour-long conference began with our expert panel, consisting of Dr. Naheed Dosani, Dr. Abe Oudshoorn, Cheyanne Ratnam, and Mike Burnett, discussed ongoing issues as well as new challenges that have presented themselves to the unhoused population of Ontario in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. We then continued with a discussion of tangible solutions that our participants can implement in their own communities and provided the opportunity for a Q&A with our panel. Overall, our conference and paired social media initiatives reached over 500 participants across the country, and we received overwhelmingly positive feedback from attendees.