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Discerning ‘Functional Zero’ Webinar

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 from 1:00 PM to 2:30 PM (EDT)

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The notion of ending homelessness has begun to shape public policy and community-based responses towards greater accountability and evidence-based decision making. While great success has been achieved, actually ending homelessness is another matter.  Policy makers, federal agencies, system leaders, and practitioners alike have all come to understand that an end to homelessness means something other than an absolute end – rather, a “functional” end, or achievement of “functional zero”. 

Dr. Turner will discuss the proposed framework for defining ‘functional zero’ nationally outlined in a discussion paper developed with the COH, School of Public Policy, and CAEH.  Tom Albanese will share the experience of efforts to define functional zero in the US and the value of consistent measures and standards. 

The Speakers

Alina Turner, PhDAlina Turner

Dr. Alina Turner is recognized as a leading homelessness researcher and is a Fellow at The School of Public Policy, University of Calgary.  In her consulting work (Turner Research & Strategy), she supports with a variety of organizations to support human service system planning and integration, including plans to end homelessness and transitions to Housing First. She also engages in academic and applied research on issues including housing stress, poverty, domestic violence, migration and rural social issues. She has extensive experience in strategy and program development on a variety of social issues.

Prior to consulting, Alina was the Vice President of Strategy for the Calgary Homeless Foundation where she led program investments of more than $35M annually, system planning and integration, the Homeless Management Information System, research and policy. She also worked for the United Way of Calgary and Area leading the affordable housing policy and research portfolio. In 2012, she was appointed by the Mayor Nenshi to serve on the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative's leadership committee. 

Tom AlbaneseTom Albanese, LSW, Senior Associate, Abt Associates

Tom Albanese is a Senior Associate with Abt Associates and has provided planning, development, and implementation support for housing and homeless programs since 1992.  He currently serves as the national technical assistance co-lead for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) program and as a lead technical assistance provider for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Tom currently provides support for New York City, the State of California, and a variety of other states and localities concerning homeless system planning, performance, program design, and quality improvement, including adoption of Housing First practices. Prior to joining Abt, Tom served as Director of Programs and Planning for the Community Shelter Board (CSB) in Columbus, Ohio, and as Associate Director of a diverse family services agency in Northeast Ohio. Tom is a Licensed Social Worker in the state of Ohio.  

Kyle PakemanKyle Pakeman, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

Kyle Pakeman is currently a Master of Planning Candidate (2016) at Queen’s University. With a background in Sociology, Kyle is focusing his studies on social and health planning. His thesis is investigating the usefulness of an innovative Area-based Deprivation Index in mid-size cities in Canada. Kyle’s work experience includes working with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) as a summer research intern in 2015 and as a research assistant for 8 months. During his time at the COH he was involved in projects ranging from youth homeless prevention to eviction prevention.

Have questions about Discerning ‘Functional Zero’ Webinar? Contact Canadian Observatory on Homelessness



Canadian Observatory on Homelessness

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is a non-profit, non-partisan research institute that is committed to conducting and mobilizing research so as to contribute to solutions to homelessness.  We work together as a group of researchers, service providers, policy and decision makers, people with lived experience of homelessness as well as graduate and undergraduate students from across Canada with a passion for social justice issues and a desire to solve homelessness in our communities.

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