St. Clair College getting $720K to fight youth homelessness

The main entrance of St. Clair College, main Windsor campus. Photo by Mark Brown/

St. Clair College has been provided with grant money to tackle homelessness among youth and help promote nutrition.

The college has received $720,000 in social innovation and research grants, with two projects evenly splitting the total funds.

The first project will focus on reaching the homeless youth population. Dr. Kyle Jackson, a professor in the college’s Honours Bachelor of Applied Arts in Social Justice and Legal Studies, said the goal is to help improve communication with a segment of the community that is difficult to reach.

“Ultimately, this will enable us to develop unique programming aimed at the prevention of homelessness before it begins in the first place,” said Jackson in a media release.

The college will partner with Family Services Windsor-Essex (FSWE). Together, the college and FSWE will conduct interviews with young people experiencing homelessness to better get a grasp of their situation. This project will be handled by Jackson, Elizabeth Strutt-MacLeod, coordinator of the Social Justice and Legal Studies degree, and Colleen Mitchell from St. Clair College.

The second project will focus on school nutrition, with the college taking on ProsperUS, AgSpace, and the Ontario Student Nutrition Program Southwest Region as partners. The Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) operates the latter locally.

“We see this project as part of a bigger initiative happening across the province, that promotes health and a universal program across Canada,” said lead researcher Dr. Kathryn Markham-Petro of St. Clair College. We are seeking to capitalize on the excellent work already being done in our area and the agriculture resources that we have to offer, to really make our area a model for other communities.”

Alexandra Frabotta and Annamaria Lopez from St. Clair College will join Petro on the research team.

The $360,000 each project receives is for three years, funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC)’s College and Community Social Innovation Fund.