Naomi Nichols is a PhD Candidate at the York Faculty of Education who was a KM Summer Intern in 2007. Naomi’s placement was with the Youth Emergency Shelter (YES) in Peterborough. She began her work at YES as a participant observer: helping in the recreation program; and the Children’s Aid Society day program; attending appointments with shelter residents as an advocate; and helping shelter staff. She conducted preliminary case-file analysis, creating a data-base that points to the various agencies/services YES clients are using. She also conducted interviews with shelter staff, other social service professionals and shelter residents. This fieldwork informed her development of a life-skills/transitioning program for shelter users. The KM Unit’s support of Naomi’s work with YES helped her secure a $130,000 grant for YES to develop a Community Outreach and Education program for their clients. The program includes services like Transitioning Life-Skills, where “[a] coordinator leads a team of one-on-one workers who pair up with and mentor individual young people. Each young person and his or her mentor enact a “transitioning plan” based on an individual’s lived experiences and goals” (Nichols, 15). The plan is meant to help the young person develop greater autonomy and gradually transition to independent housing, employment, and health management (Nichols, 15). Thanks to Naomi’s work, the Trillium grant continues to enhance the delivery of social services by YES to marginalized youth who often face difficulties accessing the available resources.
Nichols, Naomi. (2008). Walking the line: Doing community-situated institutional ethnography. A paper presented at the Society for Social Problems Annual Meeting, Boston, USA.