Our Research

Home for Good (2017-2020 WAGE)

A funded research collaboration between Alice House, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, The Marguerite Centre and YWCA Halifax investigating the barriers women face when trying to access safe, secure and affordable housing in community once they have left the transition and second-stage housing systems. 

The major findings of our research included:

  • A lack of existing housing research that used a GBA+ in data and policy analysis
  • The absence of a coherent and connected “Housing System” for women to access when looking for housing support
  • Women’s pathways through housing insecurity are non-linear, do not follow a predictable trajectory, and are often cyclical in nature
  • Women carry the burdens of debt from poverty, instability and prior relationships when trying to secure safe and affordable housing
  • There is a clear link quantitative and qualitative link between the Child Welfare System and Homelessness which is unaddressed in policies and programs
  • Women with histories of addiction, intimate partner violence, and those with children have additional considerations of safety, affordability, and location in the community when looking for market housing
  • Landlords often contribute to the stigmatization of women coming from housing programs, are not trauma-informed, and often do not understand the unique safety concerns of women’s housing

My Voice Matters (2019-2021 Standing Together Project)

My Voice Matters will identify priority needs of young women survivors recovering from domestic violence, establish priorities for the prevention of domestic violence informed by young women survivors, and test the provision of wraparound and community-based supports for survivors in their recovery. YWCA Halifax currently provides interest-free micro loans through the December 6th Fund for women escaping violence across Nova Scotia. My Voice Matters has partnered with Be the Peace Institute to interview up to 50 young women and women who have accessed the December 6th Fund program and to gather their perspectives on the impact of the fund in addition to best practices and needed reforms.

Safe Landing (2016-2019 Public Safety Canada)

A 3-year policy and program development initiative that focuses in on the issues of long-term housing and aftercare for those who are exiting the sex trade, informed by those with lived experience.  All content was created through academic and grey literature reviews, as well as national and international scoping reviews, identity-community consultations and speaking with individuals with lived experience. These materials explain the indicators of sexual exploitation, a glossary of terminology used within the sex trade, and practice principles for supporting trafficked and exploited persons.

Safer Spaces White Papers (2019-2024 Nova Scotia Advisory Council on the Status of Women)

The Safer Spaces White Papers captures knowledge and learnings from YWCA Halifax’s various front line and systems level initiatives dealing with the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Youth to share and use as the basis for systemic change and advocacy.

When the Roof Falls In (2020-2021 Standing Together Project)

When the Roof Falls In will capture the lessons learned from housing support providers at Alice House, Elizabeth Fry Society of Mainland Nova Scotia, The Marguerite Centre and YWCA Halifax and explore how violence is presently impacting the housing stability of women. Together the partner organizations comprise nearly three quarters of supportive transitional housing units for women in HRM and collectively we have a very long history of supporting women in housing. Through this project we want to understand the intersections of domestic violence and housing destabilization and seek and subsequently share ways to prevent and disrupt when domestic violence is about to evict a woman from housing.