Two Brandon University Researchers Awarded Grants to Study Homelessness

April 25, 2012

BRANDON, MB — Dr. Renee Robinson of the School of Health Studies and Dr. Karen Rempel of the Faculty of Education were each awarded funding from Human Resources and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC)’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy. The total value of the research funding for these two Brandon University projects is more than $103,000.

“The Government of Canada is committed to helping Canadians with housing needs and people seeking to break free from the cycle of homelessness and poverty,” said Merv Tweed, Member of Parliament for Brandon–Souris, on behalf of the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development. “We are pleased to partner with Brandon University in its effort to improve homelessness prevention by expanding our knowledge of its causes.”

Dr. Rempel’s research, valued at $72,108, will explore the factors that contribute to youth at-risk mobility in rural and northern Manitoba communities.
Dr. Robinson will receive $31,056 for research entitled “Housing and Support in the Community of Choice: Addressing Factors that Contribute to Migration and Homelessness”.

In her project, Dr. Robinson will describe “the extent to which migration from rural areas contributes to homelessness in a medium-sized regional centre, and identify factors that contribute to migration and settlement difficulties. The project will also investigate reasons for return to rural communities and supports that would enable people to effectively settle in their community of choice.”

“Migration between rural and urban areas is a well-established pattern with consequences for both home and receiving communities,” said Dr. Robinson, who is partnering with Brent White, the Manager of Residential and Support Services with the Brandon Regional Health Authority for this study. “Housing and homelessness are of considerable concern to service planners in Brandon.”

Dr. Rempel’s project is aimed at “youth between the ages of 15 and 30 living outside of the City of Winnipeg, who are at-risk because they are chronically unemployed or lack steady employment; have a lack of educational achievement; and/or require social supports and program interventions. The initial phase of the project resulted in more than 1,700 completed surveys from youth at-risk, 500 completed surveys from employers and 12 community and regional plans to address the needs of youth at-risk at the community or regional level.”

“I am very excited about this research project for our Faculty of Education,” said Dr. Rempel. “This analysis will help us gain a better understanding of the factors and circumstances that contribute to youth-at-risk mobility. Most importantly, this information will be useful to school divisions, communities and government agencies who are trying to address the needs of youth at-risk.”
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