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HAMSMaRT

Research

Our team members are leading or contributing to a number of research projects.

Homelessness mortality data

Dr Jill Wiwcharuk is leading the collection and analysis of data on the deaths of people deprived of housing in Hamilton. You can review this data here.

 

Nowhere to Go

Dr Claire Bodkin is leading a project to examine the health impacts of service restriction, alongside the entire HAMSMaRT team and partners from McMaster Department of Family Medicine. The project is funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation’s Community Health, Education, and Research grant. Service restriction is the practice of limiting or denying access to emergency shelter for a set period of time. Shelter staff may impose restrictions for possession of illicit drugs or harm reduction supplies, or violating shelter policies. Restrictions may impact health by exposing people to the risks of unsheltered homelessness and in some cases preventing access to services in shelters. The threat of shelter restrictions may lead people to use substances in riskier ways. Through this project, we will describe characteristics of people who experience service restriction in Hamilton, and we will examine the health impacts of this practice. Stay tuned for our results!

Safer use space in local shelter

In February of 2021 HAMSMaRT partnered with Keeping Six, the inpatients addiction medicine service (iAMS) and 62 volunteers to set up a safer use space and distribute harm reduction supplies in a local shelter during a COVID outbreak. You can read the report about this important initiative here. HAMSMaRT supports the integration of safer use spaces in all shelters in keeping with the principles of harm reduction.

 

Pandemic planning in homeless shelters

Dr Tim O’Shea, Dr Jill Wiwcharuk, and Dr Claire Bodkin were involved in the rapid implementation of screening and testing for COVID-19 in homeless shelters in Hamilton. You can read the research paper here.