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Homelessness, Addictions and Mental Health in a Northern, Rural Context: Using Mixed Research Methods in a Community-Based Research Design to Identify Gaps in Services

By: Published: 2016 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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In 2010, I was approached by a non-profit organization in Inuvik, Canada, and asked to consider developing a research proposal on a growing homeless population. Shortly, after this request and a visit to the community, which included meetings with service providers, I accepted the invitation. The research question in this case focused on the role that gaps in services played in the lives of homeless men and women in Inuvik, North West Territories. In particular, the relationship between concurrent disorders, addictions and mental health problems, and homelessness was examined to determine what role, if any, gaps in services played in being homeless. The research was conducted using a community-based research design employing mixed methods—surveys and focus groups with service providers and homeless persons. I present the findings of this study by working through the processes involved in carrying out the research leading up to the results. While the implications of the research are important, the focus in this case study is on methods used and how results were derived, not on the recommendations emerging from the research.

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