Sharing Canadian & Irish Research and Practice in Housing First & Rapid Rehousing, 20th April

20 Apr 2023
Joe Finnerty, Margaret Buckley, Steve Gaetz, Melanie Redman, Paul Frewen

In this half-day event, visiting speakers and researchers from UCC shared their research on Housing First and other initiatives to tackle homelessness in Canada and Ireland. 

Papers & Contributors 

  • Housing First in Canada: From At Home / Chez Soi to the development of Housing First for Youth.
    Professor Steve Gaetz, Professor and York Research Chair in Homelessness and Research Impact & President of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (Homeless Hub). 
  • Using Social Innovation to Address Youth Homelessness: Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab
    Dr Melanie Redman, President & CEO, A Way Home: Working Together to End Youth Homelessness. 
  • Pathways towards Stable Housing for Parents & Children Exiting Residential Services & an overview of intergenerational use of homeless services in Cork. 
    Dr Margaret Buckley, Lecturer, School of Applied Social Studies and Housing Agency Principal Investigator.  
  • Identifying and responding to the Social Care Needs of Housing First tenants
    Mr Paul Frewen, Research Officer, Irish Research Council SCANHOPE (Social Care Needs of Homeless Persons) Project. 
  • Systems Accelerant: Lessons arising from responses to homelessness during the Covid Pandemic
    Mr Joe Finnerty, Lecturer, School of Applied Social Studies, and Simon Communities Research Principal Investigator. 

Speaker Biographies

Professor Stephen Gaetz O.C. is a Professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, in Toronto Canada. He is the President of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Homeless Hub at York University as well as co-Director of Making the Shift – Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab and the Toronto Centre of Excellence on Youth Homelessness Prevention . Dr Gaetz works in collaboration with partners to conduct research and mobilize this knowledge so as to have a greater impact on solutions to homelessness, and in particular the prevention of homelessness. In 2017 Dr Gaetz was awarded the Member of the Order of Canada for his services to homeless research.

Dr Melanie Redman is the co-founder, President & CEO of A Way Home Canada, a national coalition reimagining solutions to youth homelessness through transformations in policy, planning and practice. A Way Home Canada has inspired communities and countries around the world to adopt the A Way Home brand as a way to participate in a growing international movement for change. Melanie leads the National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness in Canada, which is a pan-Canadian community of practice for youth homelessness service providers. Melanie is also the co-founder and Partnership and Implementation Director for the Making the Shift Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab, which is a Government of Canada Research Tri-Council Networks of Centres of Excellence. Since 2021, Making the Shift has held the designation as a Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence.

Dr Margaret Buckley is a Lecturer in Social Policy in the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork. She teaches a diverse range of topics which include Irish social policy, housing and homelessness, and social research methods. Her research includes; Exhuming Insights: an examination of life expectancy and mortality rates in relation to changing social policy measures; ‘Going the Distance’, an evaluation of Cloyne Diocesan Youth Services Mobile Garda Youth Diversion Project; Systems Accelerant? an evaluation of Simon Communities, Local Authorities and HSE Social Inclusion during the Covid-19 crisis; an examination of intergenerational service use with Good Shepherd Cork and Agency and Ageing in Place, which examined the views of older people living in rural areas in Ireland about ageing in place. Her current research, funded by the Housing Agency, is with Childhood Matters and is titled Pathways towards Stable Housing for Parents and Children Exiting Residential Services.

Joe Finnerty is a Lecturer in Social Policy at the School of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork with a track record in housing and homelessness research. Joe is a coordinator of the Welfare Policy, Homelessness and Social Exclusion working group in the European Network of Housing Researchers. A recently completed research include the impact of COVID-19 on Irish homeless services - specifically in relation to the eight Simon Communities in the Irish Republic. The first report, Systems Accelerant?, with research assistant Margaret Buckley (February 2021) with a second report Finnerty, J., Cullinane, C. and Buckley, M. (2021). The Experiences of Simon Communities’ Service Users During the Pandemic. Dublin: Simon Communities of Ireland. The third and final report was Finnerty, J., Cullinane, M. and Buckley, M. (2021). Sustaining the Accelerant? Dublin: Simon Communities of Ireland. Along with Neil Haran and Paul Butler, Joe will shortly publish research into older renters in the Irish private rented sector. Entitled Double Deficit, the research was commissioned by two NGOs working in the sector, Threshold and ALONE, and involved interviews with older renters and with relevant organisations in the area.

Paul Frewen is a Research Officer and tutor at the School of Applied Social Studies and a Lecturer in social policy on the Diploma in Social Studies at ACE, UCC. Paul has worked in multiple research projects in the areas of housing and homelessness, including identifying and responding to social care needs of Housing First households, intergenerational usage of homeless services, homeless services responses during the Covid pandemic. Paul will soon being work as Research Officer on an Irish Research Funded project examining “own door” housing preferences and support needs of long stay hostel residents


Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30