Friday, April 20, 2012

Research stories

I am currently in the data analysis and interpretation phase of my study.
Over the past year I have been busy conducting focus groups, one-on-one interviews, and observing shelter training workshops. I have spoken to LGBTQ homeless and street-involved youth, frontline shelter staff, Executive Directors,
City of Toronto shelter management, and workshop facilitators.
My plan was originally to share this process with you all, but I have been too busy to blog about it.
So, I've decided to start sharing snippets of my research story.

March 2011 - Approximately one year ago on my way to a youth shelter North of Toronto.

Sitting on the Greyhound bus departing from Toronto,
we drive through the city where homelessness is a very visible issue.
I see people sleeping on the streets on this freezing cold morning.

I drift in and out of sleep as we drive further from the city and closer to the country.
I wake to fields and trees, clearly we are out of the city.
I cannot help but notice how ironic it is that I am going so far from the city to research this problem that is a crisis in our city. But, here homelessness is a problem too. Perhaps not as visible as in Toronto.

The Executive Director picks me up from the station and together we drive to the youth shelter - a pretty yellow house.
The outside looks so welcoming, but that may not be the case for all youth, especially LGBTQ youth.
LGBTQ youth frequently migrate to Toronto for this reason.
However, sadly there is little support available in the form of specialized overnight services for this population of youth in Toronto as well.

I. Alex Abramovich

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