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Humber College's Community-Based Research Initiatives

Updated: Feb 4, 2022

CBRCanada is pleased to share a recent update from one of its institutional members, Humber College.

Humber College’s community-based research is one of our most prominent research areas and is a strong contributor to our second-place ranking in Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges (announced last week by Research Infosource).

In 2020, Humber College received five multi-year grants totalling $1.6M in research funding from the College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF), a fund managed by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). Four CCSIF projects are being led by professors in the Faculty of Social & Community Services (FSCS), and one CCSIF project is being led by Ginger Grant, PhD., Dean, Research & Innovation.

From affordable housing initiatives to cannabis education to measurement of the impact of 21st-century experiential learning on new immigrants’ workplace performance and Indigenous economic development, these projects represent only a sample of the impactful research undertaken by the Humber community that contributed to Humber’s second-place ranking:

Affordable housing for all

Imagine a day when all renters, including seniors and students, can consistently access affordable housing. In South Etobicoke, Humber professor Salomeh Ahmadi is working to make what might seem like a far-fetched dream a reality. She was inspired to act after hearing about the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) and reached out to community groups to understand the obstacles they were facing. Ahmadi teamed up with longtime Humber partner LAMP Community Health Centre.

The research project aims to uncover cost of living issues in South Etobicoke to develop a baseline of housing affordability. Salomeh will also identify measures to inform decision-making around the issue of affordable housing and contribute to the fight against homelessness, all the while advocating for the building of affordable housing through policy change.

Reducing youth crime and gang violence

Youth at risk of entering the criminal justice system need help and resources, especially those who become involved with gangs. But how can community services best support them? Researcher and Faculty of Social and Community Services professor Ann Corbold is investigating what makes community agency partnerships effective. After they gather the required information, Corbold and partners John Howard Society of Saskatchewan and Street Culture Project will identify best practices in the sector. The study will also focus on programs for youth who are involved with the criminal justice system or at risk of becoming involved. The researchers will evaluate each program for cultural sensitivity, alignment to reconciliation and more. The project's overarching goal is to reduce youth crime and gang violence in Canada.

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