October 5-7th, 2021
10:00am - 1:00pm EST / 4:00pm - 7:00pm CET 
Virtual conference

The Fourth International Housing First Conference: Knowledge Mobilization of Evidence-Based Housing First Practices 

Thanks to all our participants for attending the virtual conference with over 50 international presentations! View the conference twitter chat here


The conference program, session recordings and summary bulletins are now available here

0 1


The Fourth International Housing First Conference is a bilingual virtual conference where you will share and learn about evidence-based practices and adaptations of the Pathways Housing First model. There will be workshops, panel discussions, and research symposia that will bring together Housing First program staff and practitioners, people with lived experience, policymakers, and researchers to network and identify needed policy changes. You will also hear from experts on how to link research with practice.


The overall goal is to enhance capacity to implement Housing First programs in Canada and internationally with a high level of fidelity to the Pathways Housing First model. 

This conference provides opportunity for those involved in community mental health and homelessness to:  


Promote knowledge exchange and provide capacity-building opportunities related to the Pathways Housing First model. A critical focus will be on how to implement programs with a high level of fidelity to the model.


Provide opportunities for partnership between researchers and practitioners, policymakers, and people with lived experience of homelessness across Canada and internationally.


Identify needed changes to public policy related to Housing First and potential strategies that can influence public policy.


Provide training and mentoring opportunities for practitioners, graduate students, and post-doctoral fellows.

Provide networking opportunities for Housing First stakeholders across Canada and internationally.


0 3


Wondering what to expect from your #HousingFirst2021 experience?

The conference will include keynote presentations, workshops, panels, research symposia, poster sessions, networking opportunities, student mentorships, and more!

View the program here.


0 2


Lucille Bruce

Lucille Bruce is the Chief Operating Officer of End Homelessness Winnipeg, Canada. Lucille is a Metis Women who has worked in various leadership roles in Winnipeg, addressing the needs of Urban Indigenous Women and children who were at -risk of homelessness for over 3 decades. Most of Lucille’s work experience, including her current position, has been focused on establishing and building a continuum of culturally-relevant services and supports for Indigenous Women, Children and peoples in Winnipeg. Lucille is also recognized for her work as the Indigenous Co-Site Coordinator for the AH/CS  National Research Demonstration Project in Winnipeg by the Mental Health Commission of Canada. Lucille provided leadership in the  coordination and  successful delivery and implementation of the 3 Housing First Programs in Winnipeg.  

Dr. Jino Distasio

Dr. Jino Distasio joined the University of Winnipeg, Canada in 1999 and is currently the Vice President, Research and Innovation. Over the past 15 years he has served as the Director of the Institute of Urban Studies; a faculty member in the department of Geography. For well over a decade, Jino has worked extensively in Winnipeg’s inner city as well as exploring broader Canadian and global urban issues. During this period he has been actively engaged in over 175 projects, publications and community initiatives. Dr. Distasio coordinated a study of homelessness and mental health in Canadian cities. This work was part of a $110 million dollar project funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and the largest such project ever undertaken globally. He has also led numerous multi-city projects that have examined housing markets dynamics, homelessness, poverty as well as developing of a national index of neighbourhood distress in Canadian cities. He continues to teach and holds three adjunct appointments at the University of Manitoba where he actively serves on numerous doctoral and masters level committees.

Betty Edel

Betty Edel is the Manager, Housing Supports at End Homelessness Winnipeg, Canada. Betty is a Métis woman who has worked on social justice issues in the Inner city of Winnipeg for over 35 years, including education, health care, housing, homelessness. Betty has also trained for Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) nationally on Housing First from an Indigenous perspective.

Dr. Saija Turunen

Dr. Saija Turunen is research manager at Y-Foundation, Finland where she has worked since 2017. Saija studied and worked in the field of social research in the UK where she founded and ran her own research consultancy as well as taught research methods at the University of Bangor, North Wales after receiving her Ph.D. from there in 2001. Currently Saija co-leads the research work cluster of the Housing First Europe Hub and her research interests include impact assessment, women’s homelessness as well as subjective well-being.

Saija will talk about the special characteristics of the Finnish Housing First model. The presentation will look into the development of the model, key achievements and lessons learnt.

Dr. Sam Tsemberis

Dr. Sam Tsemberis, clinical psychologist, is Founder and CEO of the Pathways Housing First Institute which provides consultation, technical assistance, presentations and workshops— in person and online across the globe. Dr. Tsemberis also serves as the ED for the Greater Los Angeles VA-UCLA Center of Excellence for Training and Research on Veterans Homelessness and Recovery and serves on the faculty at UCLA Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences.

Dr. Tsemberis honors and awards include the Distinguished Contribution to Independent Practice award from the American Psychological Association (2016) and the Meritorious Service Cross awarded by the Lieutenant Governor of Canada (2018).


0 4


The Ontario Housing First Regional Network Community of Interest helps communities across Ontario to develop, evaluate, and improve Housing First programs based on the Pathways model. This model was tested, adapted, and proven effective in the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s At Home / Chez Soi Demonstration Project. 

This community of interest is co-led by Drs. Tim Aubry and Geoffrey Nelson. It is supported by Evidence Exchange Network (EENet), which is part of the Provincial System Support Program at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). For more information, visit www.eenet.ca.


Dr. Geoffrey Nelson

Dr. Tim Aubry

Dr. Geoffrey Nelson is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at Wilfrid Laurier University.


Dr. Nelson’s research has focused on community mental health programs for people with serious mental illness, unstable housing, and homelessness. His current research looks at sustainability and knowledge transfer of the Housing First approach for homeless people with mental illness in Canada and is funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

Dr. Tim Aubry is a Professor in the School of Psychology and Senior Researcher at the Centre for Research on Educational and Community Services at the University of Ottawa. He is currently holder of the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Chair in Community Mental Health and Homelessness.

He was a Member of the National Research Team and the Co-Lead of the Moncton site in the Mental Health Commission of Canada's At Home / Chez Soi Demonstration Project. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Psychological Association and the Society for Community Research and Action (Division 27 of the American Psychological Association). 


0 5

Centre for Addiction and Mental Health

University of Ottawa

Wilfrid Laurier University

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness

Pathways Housing First

Housing First Europe Hub

International Housing First Network



laurier logo.png
hub logo.jpeg

This conference is supported by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s National Housing Strategy (NHS) Research and Planning Fund and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Connections Grant.



We'd love to hear from you

  • Twitter
  • Twitter

Find us on Twitter