May 12th,2020 – Shelter in the Storm – Housing Security in the Time of a Pandemic with Janice Abbott and Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi

Safe, secure, and affordable housing is a basic human necessity and a requirement for good health. Never has the need for housing security been more critical than now, as COVID-19 continues to spread across communities in BC and Canada, yet thousands of people lack a place to safely and securely isolate. Among them are Indigenous people living away from their home communities, women facing situations of domestic violence, and street populations living with addictions and poverty.

Panelists Janice Abbott, CEO of the Atira Women’s Resource Society, and Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Executive Director of the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness, will discuss the unique risks to the homeless and housing insecure posed by COVID-19, as well as some of the innovative ways that their organizations are working to provide safe, secure, affordable, and culturally supportive shelter in the time of a pandemic. This is a partnership event with Indigenous Research Support Initiative.

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Date: Thursday, May 12th, 2020 (PST)
Time: 10 a.m. to 11:30 am

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About the Presenters:


Janice Abbott is of Northern European and Secwepemc ancestry and was born on the traditional and unceded territories of the Musqueam, TsleilWauthuth and Squamish Nations and raised on the territory of the Tla’amin Nation. Her grandmothers hail from the Shuswap, Norway, Ireland and Scotland.

Janice has been the CEO of Atira Women’s Resource Society since 1992 during which time she has led the Society through its incredible growth from a single transition house located south of Vancouver with a staff of seven, to a large multi-service agency with two, for-profit subsidiaries, development and arts arms, and more than 900 staff.

Throughout Atira’s herstory, Janice has championed barrier-free and low-barrier access to programs and services for women, ensuring Atira’s programs are accessible to all women affected by violence including women who have traditionally been marginalized by mainstream society. She developed and works to honour in her daily practice and in her life Atira’s anti-oppression framework.


Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi is of Kwakuitl ancestry and has more than 20 years of experience in senior management and direct engagement working with Indigenous peoples. Her areas of expertise include Indigenous adult and post-secondary education and training. Fran is currently the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Coalition to end Homelessness and a member of the Indigenous Advisory Committee to the Indigenous Research Support Initiative (IRSI) at UBC. She was the inaugural Director of the Office of Indigenous Affairs at the University of Victoria.

Fran is also an entrepreneur and owns a consulting business, Hunt-Jinnouchi Enterprises. She has a Bachelor of Social Work, a Master of Adult Education and has completed the course work for a Doctorate in Philosophy in Educational Psychology and Leadership. Fran is passionate about social justice and has dedicated her life’s work to Indigenous community capacity development.

Learn about Indigenous Research Support Initiative


Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness:

Atira Women’s Resource Society:

Other resources:

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