In 2017, the AIDS Committee of York Region (ACYR) received a SEED Grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to undertake a collaborative community-based research project to understand the service needs and context for vulnerable seniors in York Region. The project enabled ACYR to join hands with the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto and to collaborate with partner organizations such as the Lance Krasman Memorial Centre for Community Mental Health, Addiction Services for York Region, and CHATS – Community and Home Assistance To Seniors. This allowed us the opportunity to design and implement a participatory action research project, to gather information from seniors, caregivers, and service professionals across York Region to understand the service needs of older adults (55 years or older) with complex vulnerabilities, including (but not limited to) mental health, substance use, HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses, homelessness, and poverty.

On Monday March 26th at the Oak Ridges Community Centre in Richmond Hill, an event was held to recognize this funding received and acknowledge the work that went into the project. The presentation delivered some vital information reflecting a population living with complex needs.

We gathered with a diverse group that included community individuals and groups, as well as members from the Regional Municipality of York. After the presentation was delivered by our lead researchers, a healthy discussion among those in attendance took place that encompassed the serious nature of complex needs and how they can, and should, be addressed.

Please take a look at our Summary Report of a Community-Based Participatory Research Project by following this link