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Dr. Carol Kappui Recognized for Research on Homelessness


Director of the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy receives Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council 2017 Impact Partnership Award

Laurentian University researcher Dr. Carol Kauppi received an award for her accomplishments in working with university and community partners to understand homelessness in northern Ontario. Dr. Kauppi received a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) 2017 Impact Award for her research into sources of social and economic inequality and strategies for working toward social justice.

The Impact Awards recognize outstanding researchers and celebrate their achievements in research, research training, knowledge mobilization, and outreach activities funded partially or completely by SSHRC. The Partnership Award recognizes Dr. Kauppi as a champion in bringing forward the very best ideas in the social sciences and humanities, and in helping to understand and improve the world around us, today and into the future. The award comes with a $50,000 grant that will be used to extend research on hidden homelessness as it relates to reconciliation between Indigenous and non-indigenous people.

“Hidden homelessness is exactly what it sounds like. It’s about people without a stable roof over their heads who go largely unnoticed,” said Dr. Carol Kauppi, Laurentian University Professor and Director of the Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy. “It can affect young people who are couch surfing, seniors who cannot afford appropriate accommodations, people living in bush camps, or families living with housing hardship in overcrowded, substandard conditions.”

Dr. Kauppi’s work has examined various forms of homelessness and extreme poverty among a number of vulnerable groups including women, young people, families, and seniors in key cultural groups of northeastern Ontario. The research program linked to the award will focus on Indigenous populations in particular as part of an effort to implement 15 calls to action issued by Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The research will relate knowledge of hidden homelessness to underlying issues pertaining to housing hardship among Indigenous populations of northeastern Ontario, and work toward identifying solutions to improve relations between Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

“All orders of government have been paying more attention in recent years to rising poverty and homelessness, and that is a positive step,” said Dr. Kauppi. “But if we are going to create good public policy and make investments that help as many people as possible, we need a more accurate understanding of how many Canadians are affected, and in what manner. I’m grateful to SSHRC for this recognition and looking forward to continuing this much needed research with a bilingual tri-cultural, interdisciplinary team in Sudbury.”

Dr. Kauppi is preparing to expand her research into hidden homeless on a national scale. With a grant from SSHRC, she will lead a group of researchers from Laurentian University, the University of Sudbury and the Sudbury and District Health Unit. They will conduct a series of workshops on the issues, bring colleagues from across the country together, lead a national conference, and publish a book on hidden homelessness and reconciliation.

“I congratulate Dr. Kauppi on her work and on this SSHRC award,” said Dr. Rui Wang, Vice-President, Research at Laurentian University. “Laurentian University is proud, not only of its leadership role in research, but in the dedication of our people to work in partnership with community and government stakeholders to develop projects that will improve people’s lives. Dr. Kauppi is a stellar example.”