• Hi Guest: Welcome to TRIBE, the online home of TRIBE MAGAZINE. If you'd like to post here, or reply to existing posts on TRIBE, you first have to register. Join us!

Homeless needs assessment in Toronto

emiwee

TRIBE Member
For those interested in doing some volunteer work...
The article below describes the "homeless census" that is going to happen in the middle of April. They're still looking for volunteers to help out on that night to do some of the surveys. The contact info is at the end of the article.





Toronto to take homeless census
Recruits needed to comb streets Survey will help city refine services


Mar. 23, 2006. 05:30 AM
GABE GONDA
CITY HALL BUREAU


The city of Toronto is seeking volunteers to conduct its first ever census of homeless people.

The survey, called the street needs assessment, will take place across the city on April 19. So far, more than 600 people have volunteered to comb Toronto's streets that night, counting homeless people and conducting an eight-minute survey to assess their needs. In all, the city is looking for 1,500 recruits.

The results of the survey will be used by staff to refine social services, such as alcohol and drug treatment programs, aimed at the city's street population, estimated to be between 5,000 and 20,000.

Volunteers, who so far include former homeless people, university students, teachers and faith leaders, will be led by 500 experienced social service workers. The city has already recruited 234 of those team leaders, who will be paid $100 for their work. The entire project is expected to cost $90,000.

Volunteers will be trained on the night of the survey. Small teams are then expected to cover up to 230 areas of the city between 8:30 p.m. and midnight, asking homeless people to take part in the questionnaire.

Subjects who agree to be interviewed will be asked questions like how old they are, how long they have lived on the streets, whether they need immediate treatment for health and substance abuse problems, as well as what services they have used in the past.

Team leaders, who are expected to have experience dealing with homeless people, will help volunteers identify survey targets.

"This is partly about breaking down the stereotype of what a homeless person looks like," said Iain De Jong, who helped design the survey for Toronto's shelter, housing and support division. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 416-397-4401 or email streetneedsassessment@toronto.ca.


(Source: Toronto Star)
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
how do you insure that a homeless person without ID has only been counted once?
Normally in research surveys you don't ask for ID anyhow. Sometimes you might count the same person twice, but if you read the article, you'll see that there are going to be social services workers helping out (i.e., taking people to certain areas to talk to different people). Plus, it's happening in one night only, so it's going to be difficult for people to run around to different areas and get interviewed multiple times. Without a monetary incentive, it's rare that people try to "double-dip"... most would just say they've been interviewed already.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
emiwee said:
Normally in research surveys you don't ask for ID anyhow. Sometimes you might count the same person twice, but if you read the article, you'll see that there are going to be social services workers helping out (i.e., taking people to certain areas to talk to different people). Plus, it's happening in one night only, so it's going to be difficult for people to run around to different areas and get interviewed multiple times. Without a monetary incentive, it's rare that people try to "double-dip"... most would just say they've been interviewed already.

Yes but its in all parties best interests to inflate the number rather than accuracy.

Normally in a research study you don't atke ID however you do insure that the same person can only be spoken to once. In third world nations they actually put a strange purple ink on the persons hand after they have voted to insure that they only get to vote once. My concern is that by default these are not people who stay in the same spot all night, they move around.

I for one would love to know an accurate number on this one. I'd have prefered the number from mid feb before the teeny boppers move to the streets for the summer but I can live with late april.

an inaccurate number is of no value.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
The needs assessment isn't as big an issue (in regards to double counts) as its more of an inventory or breakdown. However if the homeless number is inflated %20 this would cause me a fair bit of concern as this will likely be the quoted homeless number for quite sometime.
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
Yes but its in all parties best interests to inflate the number rather than accuracy.

Normally in a research study you don't atke ID however you do insure that the same person can only be spoken to once. In third world nations they actually put a strange purple ink on the persons hand after they have voted to insure that they only get to vote once. My concern is that by default these are not people who stay in the same spot all night, they move around.

I for one would love to know an accurate number on this one. I'd have prefered the number from mid feb before the teeny boppers move to the streets for the summer but I can live with late april.

an inaccurate number is of no value.

I didn't intend for this thread to be some kind of argument over the limitations of research. Truthfully, I really don't know exactly what measures they're instituting to minimize multiple interviews with one person.

Seriously, though. Obviously there's enough justification to do the study in the first place. You truly think that if we don't get an "accurate" number, then there is no value at all? Does it matter to you if we incorrectly get 15,000 instead of the 12,000 that might actually be the "true" number? You think the better option is to just not do it at all?

Homelessness is a very transient and context-dependent "state" anyhow, so an accurate number today might not be an accurate number tomorrow. Even in the general population census, there is inaccuracy because all the questions are self-report and people don't always tell the truth. Population estimates for any "deviant" statuses or behaviours (e.g., drug use, mental health, homelessness) are rough estimates at best because of the hidden natures of behaviour. That doesn't mean we should ignore it.

They're using the term "census" but it's really a needs assessment of as many homeless people as they can capture in one night.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
I have a few questions:

And how do assess that it's not a scammer?
Are they catching homeless people at the meal drop-ins?

What about youth and group homes?

And why 8:30 - midnight?

And are they paying the participants? (They should).
 

litespeed

Well-Known TRIBEr
depraved said:
I thought this thread was about a homeless person needing a property tax assessment. Very confusing.


can you imagine what their bill would be like.. since they live in the entire city... fucking millions!!
 

emiwee

TRIBE Member
MoFo said:
I have a few questions:

And how do assess that it's not a scammer?
Are they catching homeless people at the meal drop-ins?

What about youth and group homes?

And why 8:30 - midnight?

And are they paying the participants? (They should).

I really don't know all of the details. Once I hear more, perhaps I can answer some of these questions better.

They're using 500 social services workers (who they are paying) to help the volunteers go to different areas. I would assume then that they're going to go to relevant services (including youth and women's services) as well as outdoor/street areas.

I'm not really sure why that particular time frame.

They're not paying for participating as far as I know. This would likely increase the possibility of scamming/double dipping (so may be a precautionary measure in that sense). For the general population census, people aren't paid. I agree that research participants should be paid, but this might be very difficult in this situation.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders

MoFo

TRIBE Member
Hm.
I just think if you're gonna do it for free then participants shouldn't be bugged at 8:30 - midnight. If someone called to do the census after 7, I'd tell them to bugger off.

Hence, why I thought they might be targeting shelters and meal drop-ins during the day when everyone is relatively social and easier to access.

I wonder if we're participating in this.
 

marcinm

TRIBE Member
Ditto Much said:
how do you insure that a homeless person without ID has only been counted once?
Easy, you snap on an electronic tracking bracelet that's impossible to take off.
 

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
emiwee said:
I really don't know all of the details. Once I hear more, perhaps I can answer some of these questions better.

They're using 500 social services workers (who they are paying) to help the volunteers go to different areas. I would assume then that they're going to go to relevant services (including youth and women's services) as well as outdoor/street areas.

I'm not really sure why that particular time frame.

They're not paying for participating as far as I know. This would likely increase the possibility of scamming/double dipping (so may be a precautionary measure in that sense). For the general population census, people aren't paid. I agree that research participants should be paid, but this might be very difficult in this situation.

And I really didn't want to create any issues with this as a basic concept. I think that the census is actually very important. For sometime now I have argued that the current system we have in place does absolutely nothing to prevent or actually get homeless people off the street. I have for sometime argued that all we are doing is making the streets easier to live on and thus we're actually having a negative effect. Without a census we cannot grade the services we are supplying and we cannot accurately question our solutions. I think the census should be seasonal but I would like to have an accurate number that can be justified.

My concern with the number is that there is a vested interest by all parties to inflate the number. The greater the number the stronger the justification to increase spending where as my personal belief is that the support services should be dumped and mental health and alcohol rehabilitation enforced.
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

MoFo

TRIBE Member
marcinm said:
How is that a bad idea?

In europe they round up the homeless and cart them off out of town.
What? I didn't say "wow, you're so a bad idea."

I said, "wow, you're so gay."

Get it together, Woodbridge.
 

marcinm

TRIBE Member
MoFo said:
What? I didn't say "wow, you're so a bad idea."

I said, "wow, you're so gay."

Get it together, Woodbridge.
I don't get how putting bracelets on homeless people makes me gay. I mean, I didn't say they bracelets had to match their outfits. But i think it's a good system, so that way you can monitor them, and like if one stops moving for a long time you can send some medical help.
 

MoFo

TRIBE Member
marcinm said:
I don't get how putting bracelets on homeless people makes me gay. I mean, I didn't say the bracelets had to match their outfits.
That's the gayest thing I've ever heard.
 
tribe cannabis goldsmith - gold cannabis accessories

Ditto Much

TRIBE Member
ev said:
we could tag their ears like they're a goat or something!

In the third world they use an ink that takes about 3 days to wear off. This way they simply look at your hands and if they have ink on them you don't get to vote.

I think its a valid option.
 

Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Wasn't this done about 5 years ago? The Golden Report or something or other? ChrisD=Confused
 

marcinm

TRIBE Member
ChrisD said:
Wasn't this done about 5 years ago? The Golden Report or something or other? ChrisD=Confused
You're probably thinking about how they rounded up all those Canada geese and shipped them off to the maritimes somewhere.

I'm pretty sure a similar solution would be effective for the homeless aswell.
 

litespeed

Well-Known TRIBEr
Ditto Much said:
In the third world they use an ink that takes about 3 days to wear off. This way they simply look at your hands and if they have ink on them you don't get to vote.

I think its a valid option.


i think the ear tag is much more effective.
 
tribe cannabis accessories silver grinders
Top