Weathering the Storm: Community Social Capital and the COVID-19 Crisis in St. James Town, Toronto.

Lisa Kowalchuk, University of Guelph

This exploratory study examines the impacts of the pandemic, eight months in, on the lives of St. James Town residents, and the ways that they coped and responded. It also looks at the supportive responses by a network of non-governmental agencies and organizations that provide services to the community.

The report is based on 35 qualitative, interview-based research conducted between October and December of last year. Our research team carried out remote interviews with 18 residents and about as many service provider professionals and volunteers. Three research assistants who reside in the community conducted most of the 18 resident interviews. There were also 17 interviews with personnel of service-provider organizations.
The findings shed light on hardships the community endured as the pandemic interacted with chronic challenges, especially those pertaining to the marginalization of immigrants, and the neglected state of the neighbourhood’s aged apartment towers. But what also stands out are the collective and individual resilience of residents, and the creativity, care, and innovation of the non-profits that brought a depth of crisis experience to their pandemic response.

Research Status: Research completed, preparing to publish/present

Funding Agency: University of Guelph COVID-19 Research Development and Catalyst Fund

Contact: Lisa Kowalchuk

This entry was posted in Projects, Researchers. Bookmark the permalink.