Building the Bridge from Downstream to Upstream

Housing First and Homelessness Prevention Initiatives in an International Context

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This is my final draft for my first summer of Laidlaw research. My project focused on the implementation of "Housing First" initiatives in the United States, Canada, and Finland. Through the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research, I found which structural and political elements were most vital to each case study's success. However, my paper finds that "Housing First" in isolation is insufficient to eradicate homelessness – there remains a need for systematic, thorough preventative measures. Although Housing First provides a backdoor exit from homelessness to housing, prevention will effectively close the front door to homelessness – something that is needed in each of the three case studies. 

I'm very grateful for the opportunities I had this summer to work on this research project. Thank you to the University of Toronto Laidlaw Scholars Program and its fearless coordinator, Shraddha Prasad. I know I will carry with me the skills and experiences of this 8-week endeavor into the rest of my academic career. 

Lucy Stark

University of Toronto Student, University of Toronto Laidlaw Scholars Programme

I am a Lester B Pearson Scholar entering my second year at the University of Toronto as a history and economics double major. My Laidlaw project surrounds "Housing First" programs in cities across the world, including cities in Canada, the United States, and Finland. Through this project, I hope to discover what factors are most essential for successfully housing chronically homeless persons. Beyond this project, I am involved in the University of Toronto Moot Team, I write for two student papers, and I have a passion for documentary filmmaking.