Looking for a little advice?

We can connect you to a number of sector experts who can help you out. Ask your own question or browse the existing answers below. More experts coming in early 2020.

There may be several differences in the experience of homelessness among gay and heterosexual cisgender males. The first is pathways into homelessness. Gay cisgender males may experience familial rejection due their sexual orientation. They may also experience discrimination from landlords and employers due to their sexual orientation, which can impact their ability to attain housing and employment. Gay cisgender males may also encounter homophobia while in emergency shelters or in their housing. Due to this, gay cisgender males may not feel comfortable disclosing their sexual orientation in these spaces, which can add to their levels of stress. Check out this blog post for more information. 

Answered byJohn Ecker,November 29, 2019

Great question. I'm taking this answer from a blog post we wrote in 2017. 

Generally, pilot projects are small introductory studies to learn about key factors associated with research topics like time, costs, and size. Before researchers are able to conduct larger and longer studies – such as demonstration projects – they benefit from information gathered during the pilot project phase. Pilot projects contain assessments that are designed by researchers to see if what works in theory actually works in practice, sort of like a test drive for new concepts and approaches.

So, the differences are pretty clear – pilot projects test the waters of new, yet-to-be tested topics while demonstration projects are larger, longer studies of topics that have already gone through an initial screening phase. The evaluation process attached to demonstration projects is another major distinction.

Answered byJohn Ecker,November 28, 2019

Great question! There are many steps to take when writing an evaluation report. The key is to be concise and to know your audience. This website has several resources available on how to best write evaluation reports. 

Answered byJohn Ecker,November 28, 2019

Thanks for your question! Here's a literature review on costing for housing interventions that may help. 

The Calgary Homelessness Foundation also has a chapter outlining how much it costs for ACT & Housing, ICM & Housing, and supportive housing. These costs are not broken down any further, however. 

Answered byAnika Mifsud,October 15, 2019

Great question and that sounds like a good initiative! A good starting point for research and better understanding of priority populations is the Homeless Hub. Take a look here!

Answered byKaitlin Schwan,July 9, 2019

Great question! There are several ways a community can evaluate their own programs. One of the first things communities can do is begin to think about evaluation capacity building. How can communities introduce the topic of evaluation in a welcoming and informative manner? Strategies to do this include signing up for evaluation webinars (make sure to check out the Homeless Hub website to see when these webinars occur!), checking out online tools (such as the forthcoming tools we’re developing!), and connecting with a program evaluator to provide an introduction to the topic. By developing a knowledge base beforehand, it will help to ease the anxiety communities may have about evaluation.

Once you have developed an understanding of evaluation, then communities can begin to think about the kinds of evaluation they would like to do. One of the best starting points is to think about developing a logic model for your program. A logic model helps you to identify the core of your program and puts its elements on paper. Developing a logic model is a fantastic exercise and can really get your program staff on the same page. This process involves looking over program documentation and talking with managers, staff, and clients of the program about what the key elements of the program are. From there, you may want to think about evaluating how your program is operating and what outcomes it is achieving. For these types of evaluations, you could think about conducting surveys with staff and clients and monitoring client outcomes.

Important in any evaluation is the development of some sort of data collection mechanism. You will need to know the basics about who is accessing your program, what kinds of services they are using, and how they are doing in your program. There are packages out there that can help you with data collection, including the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS), or you may already have some form of data collection strategy or want to develop something on your own.

Your community may also want to task someone as the evaluation champion. This person could serve as someone who keeps informed about evaluation strategies, monitors data collection, and figures out evaluation plans. It is good to have an evaluation champion who has a bit of time dedicated to this role, since we know that the demands of a job in the homeless service sector can be overwhelming. This person could also collaborate with an evaluator external to the program to support them when challenges occur.

I hope this has provided you some guidance on how communities can evaluate their programs

Answered byJohn Ecker,June 27, 2019