Today we can announce great news!

The Bridge Engagement Centre received a grant from Canadian Institutes of Health Research / Instituts de recherche en santé du Canada (CIHR) for our study called “Emerging COVID-19 Research Gaps & Priorities (July 2021) / Nouveaux besoins prioritaires en recherche sur la COVID-19”.

Emerging COVID-19 will be a part of our COVID IMPACT study. It was clear that populations that were severely affected by COVID were the most vulnerable ones. Actions taken by the government such as introducing CERB and other social assistance programs neglected individuals working in the informal economy. Our preliminary data from COVID Impact demonstrated that, though many people in these populations lost jobs and income, a very few received any COVID-19 specific government support.

The aim of this project is to determine the eligibility of Canada’s low-income, homeless, at-risk for homelessness, and/or racialized populations, including Indigenous communities (hereafter vulnerable populations) for social assistance (SA) programs.

The objectives are:

  • To develop SA program’s eligibility criteria for vulnerable populations, based on 1) physical health; 2) quality of life (QoL); 3) mental health; and 4) the socioeconomic lived experiences of vulnerable populations.
  • To address the gap in current income data sources (e.g., Canadian Income Survey and Labour Force Survey) prominently used by welfare program policymakers by utilizing real-time data from vulnerable populations from the COVID Impact project conducted at the Bridge Engagement Center (The Bridge), a community-based research center in Ottawa, Canada.
  • To develop pandemic ready welfare program eligibility model for Canada’s most vulnerable populations using a comprehensive, data-driven approach, leaving no one behind.