Current projects Surviving Addiction docuseries The Social Impact Hub is proud to support the Surviving Addiction docuseries created by Chris Cull and the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine. A Durham College alumni, Chris has made remarkable accomplishments in raising awareness of addictions and mental health through his activities at Inspire by Example and sharing his own battle with addiction. The docuseries highlights the humanity behind addiction and how it affects individuals and those surrounding them. The series aims to educate the audience about the devastating effects of addiction and the power of compassion and understanding. Through the Hub, Durham College students and staff filmed and produced the series alongside Chris over the summer and fall of 2023. The first episode will be screened at the Canadian Society of Addiction Medicine conference Wednesday October 19, 2023 with episodes to be released regularly in the following months. Episode 1: Opioid Addiction to Cross Canada Cyclist The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project Project Leads: Tyler Frederick, PhD., Ontario Tech University; Lorraine Closs, M.S.W, Durham College Community Partners: The Regional Municipality of Durham, Lakeridge Health, Ontario Tech University Funding Source: Mitacs and The Regional Municipality of Durham Duration: October 2021 – October 2022 Summary: Durham College is partnering with the Regional Municipality of Durham, Lakeridge Health, and Ontario Tech University to explore housing best practices and evaluate the success of a 10-unit micro-home community in central Oshawa that will offer temporary transitional housing with various supports, including financial assistance, employment services, mental health and addictions supports, and life skills teaching. Lorraine Closs, a professor at Durham College, will collaborate with Dr. Tyler Frederick, associate professor at Ontario Tech University, to develop an evaluation plan and apply for further research funding. Beyond the evaluation, the project also aims to explore best practices for stakeholder engagement and co-production as it relates to supportive housing in the Region. Lakeridge Health will contribute to the success of this pilot by ensuring program participants have access to community-based mental health and addiction supports. They will serve as health sector leaders on the planning working group to develop the support model for residents and will partner with Durham College and Ontario Tech University to create the evaluation plan of the pilot. The Oshawa Micro-Housing Pilot Project is aligned with At Home In Durham, the Durham Housing Plan (2014-2024), which aims to end chronic homelessness in Durham. Learn more at durham.ca/OshawaMicroHomes. Raising Resilient Families: Empowering Parents with Cognitive Challenges Raising Resilient Families: Empowering Parents with Cognitive Challenges Project Lead: Amanda Cappon, School of Health and Community Services; Kay Corbier, School of Health and Community Services Community Partners: The Regional Municipality of Durham, Huntington Society of Canada, Starfish Parent Support Program, Durham Association for Family Resources and Support, Durham Children’s Aid Society, Brock University, University of Toronto Funding Source: College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Duration: June 2021 – May 2024 Summary: All parents, including those with Intellectual and/or Developmental Disabilities (ID/DD), play a critical role in child development especially in the early years before peers become a prominent factor. As individuals with ID/DD become parents, they may require individualized supports (learning how to diaper, feed, bathe, bedtime routines, etc.) to foster a safe and healthy environment for their child to avoid removal of the child from the family home. Unfortunately, skills-building supports are not always appropriate or available to this population and therefore the objective of this project is to develop a model of support that is proactive and addresses the social issues that impact these parents, including trauma, institutionalization, and violation of human rights based on best practices identified and input from parents with ID/DD as well as key partners. Co-production and community-based participatory research methodologies will be used to investigate challenges and barriers for families impacted by ID/DD with the goal of forging early intervention strategies with community partners that honour the strengths of families, ultimately eliminating the need to remove a child from their family or cultural community. Building Bridges Together: Co-production of Financial Empowerment Strategies with People Experiencing Low Income Building Bridges Together: Co-production of Financial Empowerment Strategies with People Experiencing Low Income Project Lead: Lorraine Closs, School of Health and Community Services Community Partners: Regional Municipality of Durham, Oshawa Public Libraries, North House, Durham Workforce Authority, Durham Region Unemployed Help Centre, Durham Community Legal Clinic, Iriss - Scotland Funding Source: College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Duration: March 2020 - March 2023 Summary: Numerous community volunteer income tax clinics exist across the Durham Region to help low income residents reclaim lost income tax benefits through free-of-charge assistance to file income tax returns and increase awareness of other tax benefits available. These clinics are enhancing access; however, research has shown that available supports are insufficient, and barriers to filing taxes remain, especially for low-income residents. The project will enable collaborative activities between services providers and people living on low income to identify needs related to financial literacy and uncover useful financial empowerment strategies. The goal is to provide evidence in support of these co-designed strategies that can ultimately be leveraged by regions across Canada. Innovation through co-production: A holistic approach to supporting social competency in pre-school children Innovation through co-production: A holistic approach to supporting social competency in pre-school children Project Leads: Nicole Doyle, School of Justice and Emergency Services; Corrine McCormick-Brighton, School of Health and Community Services Collaborator Ann Le Sage, PhD., Ontario Tech University Community Partners: Regional Municipality of Durham- Social Services Department, YMCA of Greater Toronto, Durham Region Health Department Funding Source: College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) – Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Duration: March 2020 – March 2023 Summary: Every three years the Early Development Instrument, a survey completed for each student by senior kindergarten teachers, measures children’s ability to meet age appropriate developmental expectations. Since 2009, the results of the survey have shown Durham Region children, as well as those across Ontario, are not meeting developmental expectations in the area of social competence. Children are struggling to get along with others, show respect, take responsibility, and follow rules and routines – key developmental areas linked to academic success, enhanced job prospects, and improved physical and mental health outcomes. The project will undertake a series of co-production workshops with stakeholders to design tools to be used by early childhood educators and parents to enhance pre-school children’s social competence skills. The project will measure the impact of the tools and evaluate the co-design process to ensure maximum impact. Enriching firefighter training through the development of a novel virtual reality training simulation for personalized, precision skill and resilience training Enriching firefighter training through the development of a novel virtual reality training simulation for personalized, precision skill and resilience training Project Leads: Michael Williams-Bell, PhD. School of Health and Community Services; John Goodwin, School of Media, Art and Design Collaborator David Copithorne, PhD., Post-doctoral fellow, Durham College; Bernadette Murphy, PhD., Bill Kapralos, PhD., Andrew Hogue, PhD., Carolyn McGregor, PhD., Ontario Tech University Community Partners: City of Oshawa - Oshawa Fire Services, Public Services Health and Safety Association Funding Source: College and Community Social Innovation Fund (CCSIF) – Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC); Mitacs Accelerate Post-doctoral Fellowship; TeachingCity Oshawa Duration: March 2020 – March 2023 Summary: Firefighter training in real fire scenarios is extremely high cost requiring significant resources as well as great personal health risks for trainees. Many firefighters unable to train in real-life scenarios are not well prepared and suffer a variety of natural but adverse reactions when exposed to real fire scenes. Project activities will involve the use of virtual reality (VR) simulating uncontrolled fire scenarios while monitoring trainee’s physiological response to stimuli in order to improve training efficacy and safety for firefighters.