How Participants Experience London Housing Agencies’ Substance Use Policies

A community-based research project conducted in London, Ontario explored the perspectives of individuals living in emergency shelters and housing agencies who use drugs and are precariously housed. The project was initiated due to a significant increase in opioid overdoses and overdose-related deaths among the homeless population in the city. The researchers collaborated with several housing and emergency shelter agencies and conducted sixteen semi-structured interviews with participants to gather their insights on current substance use and overdose-related policies in place and how they impact their lives. Qualitative analysis methods were employed to identify major themes from the interviews. The findings from this project will contribute to the development of local policies concerning shelter substance use and precarious housing, aiming to establish consistent and comprehensive drug policies by incorporating perspectives from participants, volunteers, and staff in London’s housing and emergency shelter agencies.