How do we enable people to drop out of the Drop-in center? To build fresh connections and lives?

Too many members of The Meeting Place, a Drop-in center in downtown Toronto, have died this past year. We wanted to understand why. So from March 21 to April 2, we spent a lot of time at the corner and on the streets, getting to know people struggling with drug and alcohol addictions. We collected stories, identified patterns, and generated early ideas about how to re-segment services and design new kinds of informal supports. We're now sharing the stories & fundraising to prototype our ideas.

ArticleJoin the In/Out Team in Toronto!

by Sarah, September 25, 2015

We're searching for 24 Learning Circle participants, a handful of dynamic design fellows, and a kick-ass embedded film-maker to be part of our prototyping team in Toronto. Apply by 15 October. Read on

  • tags:
  • roles
  • designer
  • film-maker

ArticleBelonging versus change: Results of our Toronto Project

by Sarah, April 15, 2014

12 days, 14 double-doubles from Tim Hortons, and 16 stories later, we've co-developed a set of ideas. For how to shift the balance between Drop-in centres as a stable place of community, and Drop-in centres as a prompt for change. Read on

  • tags:
  • Toronto
  • drug addiction
  • homelessness
  • Transtheoretical model

ArticleJonas & Sarah on the Couch

by Sarah, October 4, 2014

All of our projects start by naming a place, a group of people experiencing a problem, and partner agencies. Neighborhood Centres are really important partners. Watch our talk to these centres! Read on

  • tags:
  • grounded change
  • approach
  • partnerships

ArticleBuy stories & learning packages

by Jonas, April 21, 2014

Help us prototype our new business model. By buying a story set & learning experience from our project at the Meeting Place in Toronto. Have a read of how we can turn these materials into professional development opportunities for your staff. Read on

  • tags:
  • Toronto
  • drug addiction
  • homelessness
  • business model
  • ethnography

StoryBeaker's Musical

by Sarah , April 12, 2014

Beaker's musical would start and end with 'Down on the Corner.' That's where he's spent much of the past 30 years. How might we apply Stages of Change theory to Beaker's story? To develop new kinds of social services & supports for people like him? Read on

  • tags:
  • Toronto
  • homelessness
  • drug addiction

ArticleToronto Stories brief

by Sarah, March 9, 2014

Read more about the questions behind our Stories project with West Neighborhood House (formerly St. Christopher House) in Toronto. Read on

  • tags:
  • addiction
  • homelessness
  • Toronto
  • stories

StoryRita, Angie, and the Drop-Ins

by Sarah, December 24, 2013

Are drop-in centers about too much belonging and not enough change? Learn how we applied social capital theory to the stories of Rita and Angie - and what that could mean for how we design services with folks who are homeless. Read on

  • tags:
  • homelessness
  • mental health
  • addiction
  • Toronto
  • Canada
  • Drop-in
 

Q & A Got questions?

Who are the project partners?

We worked with West Neighborhood House (formerly called St. Christopher House) to collect the stories. And with Social Innovation Generation to raise the visibility of the stories. We're continuing to partner with West Neighborhood House to move into prototyping. 

When were the stories collected?

We spent 12 days collecting stories at the end of March / beginning of April 2014. We're currently using these stories to attract funders for prototyping. 

Who was on the Toronto project team?

That was Sarah, Jonas, and Yani - along with help from Kelsey Spitz from Social Innovation Generation. Maureen Fair, Lambrina Nikolaou, and Leslie Saunders from St. Chris House played critical supporting roles. 

Isn't this just a standard research project?

Yes, it is on-the-ground research. But with a different purpose. It's research designed to hone in on the interesting questions to ask. And it's research that will be used to attract funders and champions for the real change work. That's our hope and our hunches #2, 4, 5. 

What's the status of the Toronto project?

Together with West Neighborhood House, we're sharing the stories with a wider audience and engaging funders to to set-up a full prototyping project. We hope to start prototyping in late 2015.

We've also assembled the stories and the tools used to gather the stories into learning experiences. So that other organizations can apply the methods and the frameworks to their own practice. Have a look at our Learning Menu - and find out how we can work with your organization.