Elizabeth Fry Toronto: Homelessness and Outreach Department Evaluation
Elizabeth Fry Toronto serves the needs of women who are, have been, or are at risk of being in conflict with the law. The agency retained the services of Eko Nomos to conduct an evaluation of the Homelessness and Outreach Department; and to lead staff in developing a planning and evaluation framework for the department and for each program within the department. Our approach to evaluation is participatory and collaborative: we facilitate an approach that welcomes a range of perspectives, supports mutual learning and promotes open sharing of experience. In this evaluation, we trained women with lived experience with the criminal justice system to conduct interviews. As trained peers, they then assisted in interviewing, individually and in focus groups, women who have accessed services at the agency. These peers and staff members were also interviewed about their experiences with the various programs of the department and given opportunity to make suggestions for improving services. A comprehensive report of findings and analysis based on these multiple perspectives was prepared for the funder. Throughout the process, staff members were able to reflect, learn and consider practical strategies which they could then integrate into the Sustainable Livelihoods planning and evaluation framework we developed together as part of this project. The Homelessness and Outreach Department now has the tools and framework to develop and implement a service model for holistic and integrated programming that advances the sustainable livelihoods of criminalized women.