Feb. 28, 2023
For Immediate Release
An increasing number of Canadians are living without stable housing and communities are struggling to find long-term solutions to homelessness. Two Wilfrid Laurier University researchers working on the frontlines of housing and social policy will share their insights on this complex issue as part of a trio of community events in March.
Erin Dej, an assistant professor of Criminology, and Laura Pin, an assistant professor of Political Science, are both actively seeking solutions to homelessness through their research. Dej works alongside people with lived experience to study homelessness and social exclusion, including the criminalization of homelessness. Pin’s research examines how social inequality intersects with public policy, including housing policy.
Dej and Pin are participating in three upcoming public events to share their findings and inspire constructive community dialogue:
Thursday, March 2 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
As part of Laurier’s Inspiring Conversations series, Dej and Pin will present their research findings and engage in a question-and-answer period. Dej will discuss the root causes of homelessness and public policy decisions that have led to the current crisis, while Pin will talk about how municipalities are – and should be – managing homeless encampments in their communities. The conversation will be moderated by Chris McEvoy (BA ’06, MA ’08), manager of homelessness and supportive housing with the Region of Waterloo.
Tuesday, March 7 from 6 to 7:15 p.m.
In the first ruling of its kind in Ontario, the Ontario Superior Court of Justice found that the Region of Waterloo’s attempt to evict encampment residents at 100 Victoria St. N. was a violation of charter rights. Pin will moderate a conversation about why this case matters for housing rights in Canada with the lead lawyers who represented people living in the encampment, Shannon Down and Ashley Schuitema of Waterloo Region Community Legal Services. They will be joined by Dej, Charlene Lee, a member of the City of Kitchener’s Lived Expertise Working Group, and Lesley Crompton, a community expert and member of the Unsheltered campaign.
Thursday, March 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
In person: Laurier’s Research and Academic Centre West, 150 Dalhousie St., Room 202, Brantford
On June 14, 2022, the Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network (WNHHN) and the National Indigenous Feminist Housing Working Group made history when they submitted the first human rights claims to the newly established Federal Housing Advocate, mandated to review systemic housing issues identified by communities and hold the Government of Canada accountable for addressing them. The claims explain why housing and homelessness is a gendered issue, and why homelessness is a national crisis for women and gender-diverse people. In this lecture, hosted by Dej, Kaitlin Schwan, executive director of WNHHN, and Marie McGregor Pitawanakwat, co-chair of the National Indigenous Housing Network, will provide an overview of the two claims and offer a path toward realizing the right to housing in Canada.
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