Evaluation of Shepherds of Good Hope’s Women and Gender Diverse Services Program

From top left clockwise: Tara McWhinney, Phil Nowotny, Zoey Feder, Adje van de Sande, Katherine Occhiuto

The Centre for Studies on Poverty and Social Citizenship (CSPSC) is currently working closely with Shepherds of Good Hope to conduct an evaluation of their new Women and Gender Diverse Services program.

Research indicates that female and transgender individuals experience homelessness differently from men. Factors such as violence against women, trauma, survival sex, poverty and gender-based discrimination affect women in accessing homelessness resources.

Shepherds of Good Hope’s Women and Gender Diverse Services offer an innovative approach to shelter services with a gender and trauma-informed intensive case management program for chronically and episodically homeless women and transgender people.

Clients work with a gender and trauma focused case manager that is culturally sensitive and trauma informed to provide stabilization support and housing first services. Clients are also provided extra support through peer support worker services, working closely with women and gender diverse individuals who have previous lived experience of homelessness.

The goal of the program evaluation is to determine if the new Women and Gender Diverse Services is more effective than the existing Shepherds of Good Hope program in transitioning women and transgender people into long-term secure housing.

This mixed-methods study will be using a 2 group experimental design and will include quantitative measures as well as in-depth interviews with participants. The research team includes Katherine Occhiuto and Tara McWhinney, PhD students with the Carleton School of Social Work, as well as Adje van de Sande, Chair of CSPSC, acting as Principal Investigator and Zoey Feder, Administrative Assistant of CSPSC, in a supporting role.

This study involves a participatory approach, where Shepherds program peer workers participate on an advisory committee and are involved in multiple phases of the research process including participating on a Research Advisory Committee and collecting participant data.

The Centre looks forward to conducting a full analysis and publishing a final research report for this study after its third and final year in 2020.