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Tyler Frederick, PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Oshawa, ON, CA

Tyler Frederick, PhD Tyler Frederick, PhD

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Science and Humanities | University of Ontario Institute of Technology

Oshawa, ON, CANADA

Breaking the cycle and stigma of youth homelessness through inspired knowledge mobilization in Canada



Inequality is a major source of offending and human suffering. For example, in Canada, an estimated 47,000 youth between the ages 16 to 24 experience homelessness each year, and as a result face barriers to education, income support, paid employment and accommodation. Further, a significant number of these youth will experience mental health issues, creating even greater obstacles to overcome. Understanding this inequality and its connection to crime and mental health, particularly among youth, as well as establishing community partnerships and research collaborations to help break these cycles, drives the work of Tyler Frederick, PhD, Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities. Buoyed by the resiliency of these youth, he draws light to the complicated issues surrounding homelessness and poverty and develops key initiatives to affect change.

Before joining UOIT in 2014, Dr. Frederick held a two-year post-doctoral fellowship with the Centre of Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto where he conducted research on the risks and vulnerabilities of young people as they exit homelessness. The results of this study were shared through a participant-created comic book called a Long Way to Go. As an Affiliate Scientist with CAMH’s Complex Mental Illness Research Program, and in partnership with Convenant House, LOFT Community Services and SKETCH, he is currently creating and evaluating an intervention to support young people exiting homelessness to maintain their housing.

His novel approach to knowledge mobilization is also reflected in his involvement with two documentary films: Hope Heights, an award-winning film that challenges the negative representations of one of Toronto’s targeted neighbourhoods; and Inclusive Spaces, a short film that spotlights businesses that model inclusivity for people with serious mental illness and encourages others to follow their lead.

Dr. Frederick's research also focuses on sexual victimization and reporting experiences of students, faculty and staff on campus. He aims to develop best practices for police services and post-secondary institutions to deal jointly with issues of campus sexual violence and harassment.

Fascinated by the processes of social construction, and inspired by the sociological lens, Dr. Frederick completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Calgary, and both his Master of Arts and Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Toronto.

Industry Expertise (5)


Law Enforcement

Mental Health Care


Social Services

Areas of Expertise (8)


Crime and Deviance



Research Methods

Social Psychology

Mental Health

Gender and Sexuality

Accomplishments (3)

Weston Foundation Post-doctoral Fellow, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) (professional)


Dr. Frederick’s post-doctoral fellowship focused on two projects, a longitudinal and mixed method study of the risks and vulnerabilities of 51 young people in two major Canadian cities as they exited homelessness. As an Affiliate Scientist in CAMH’s Complex Mental Illness Research Program, he continues to work collaboratively with CAMH, Covenant House, LOFT Community Services and SKETCH to design and evaluate an intervention to support the post-housing transition.

Assistant Producer, Hope Heights Documentary Film (professional)


Official Selection at the Regent Park Film Festival, Hope Heights received the Gold Award at the International Movie Awards.

Inclusive Spaces Initiative, Documentary Short Film (professional)


This documentary short includes inclusive spaces certificates, and KT presentations at Parkdale Community Centre and Wellesley Institute to share findings of the Community Participation Project and to promote public awareness of the need for spaces that are welcoming for people with serious mental illness including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Education (3)

University of Toronto: PhD, Sociology 2012

University of Toronto: MA, Sociology 2004

University of Calgary: BA, Sociology 2003

Affiliations (3)

  • Canadian Sociological Association
  • American Sociological Association
  • The American Society of Criminology

Event Appearances (4)

Mental Health, Well-Being, and the Transition Away from Homelessness

2014 Annual Meeting of Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness  Vancouver, British Columbia


Defining Community for Persons with Psychosis

2014 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Psychological Association  Vancouver, British Columbia


Exiting Street Life: Youth Trajectories out of Homelessness

Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness National Conference  Ottawa, Ontario


Homeless and Fabulous: Outline of a Field Approach to Street Life

2011 Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association  Las Vegas, Nevada


Research Grants (6)

Increasing Literacies Through Supported Education and Policies of Inclusion

SSHRC Insight Grant $169389


Dr. Frederick is a co-investigator on this five-year research project with UOIT faculty to examine supported education programs for adults at psychiatric hospitals across Canada.

A Mixed Methods Study of the Sexual Victimization and Reporting Experiences of Students, Faculty and Staff at a Diverse Commuter University in Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services $15048


This research involves an online survey and in-depth interviews with UOIT faculty, staff and students to assess views on sexual violence and harassment on campus. Survey results will be used to guide the development of new polices in this area.

A Collaboration with Durham Regional Police Service to Study How Post-Secondary Institutions and Police Collaborate Around Issues of Sexual Violence and Harassment

Durham Regional Police Association $25115


Building on the mixed methods study, this project will review research and stakeholder interviews to guide the development of best practices for collaboration between police and post-secondary institutions in dealing with sexual violence and harassment on university campuses.

Developing a Strategy to Support Youth Exiting Homelessness

Ontario Ministry of Children and Youth Services $400000


Co-principal investigator in collaboration with CAMH, the Wellesley Institute, and the Toronto Homeless Youth Transitions Collaborative. The initiative involves creating and evaluating an intervention that supports youth to maintain their housing and to prevent the needless cycling of youth back through the emergency shelter system. The initiative provides youth with engagement opportunities through the arts, peer support, mental health support and counselling, and transition-focused case-management.

Ontario Government Poverty Reduction Strategy: Evaluation of the Community Innovation Lab NEET Youth Incubator Program

Government of Ontario $67600


This three-year research project is aimed at evaluating the government’s Community Innovation Lab which uses entrepreneurship models and training to engage youth who are Not in Employment Education or Training (NEET) or underemployed. Results of the research may be used to gain broader insight about those who are NEET in Durham Region and ways to help them overcome barriers.

Development of an App-based Game to Teach the Public About Inequality

SSHRC Small Research Grant $5000


As principal investigator, Dr. Frederick's research focuses on the development of an app-based game around inequality and how it shapes life chances. It explores the challenges faced by living day to day on the streets.

Courses (4)

Research Methods

SSCI 2900U, 2nd Year Undergraduate Course

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Youth Crime and Violence

SSCI 3027U, 3rd Year Undergraduate Course

Advanced Justice Studies

SSCI 4000U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Crime and Justice Integrating Projects

SSCI 4009U, 4th Year Undergraduate Course

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Articles (6)

How Stable is Stable? Defining and Measuring Housing Stability Journal of Community Psychology


Despite housing stability being a key concept in housing and homelessness policy, research, and service provision, it remains poorly defined and conceptualized, and to date there are no standard measures. We use in-depth qualitative interviews with 51 young people transitioning away homelessness over the course of a year to examine the core dimensions of housing stability. Due to the potential for sudden change, we define housing stability as the extent to which an individual's customary access to housing of reasonable quality is secure.

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Diversity at the Margins: The Interconnections Between Homelessness, Sex Work, Mental Health, and Substance Use in the Lives of Sexual Minority Homeless Young People Handbook of LGBT Communities, Crime, and Justice. New York: Springer.


This chapter discusses the unique challenges facing homeless sexual minority young people have received increasing attention in recent years. This chapter reviews the research surrounding LGBTQ young people on the street with a particular focus on the interconnections between homelessness, sex work, drug use, and mental health problems.

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Brief Report: Youth Pathways out of Homelessness: Preliminary Findings Journal of Adolescence


While there exists an extensive body of knowledge regarding the risks associated with youth homelessness, very little work has addressed the process of exiting street contexts. This paper reports baseline findings from an ongoing longitudinal study assessing factors associated with a successful transition out of homelessness. Fifty-one formerly homeless youth who obtained stable housing in the past 2 months to 2 years participated in this study which took place in two Canadian urban centres.

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Perceived Danger and Offending: Exploring the Links Between Violent Victimization and Street Crime Violence and Victims


Perceptions of the danger of crime are typically discussed in the context of people's fear that they will be harmed by offenders. We shift the focus and examine the association between perceived danger and offending and the contribution of these perceptions to the well-established relationship between violent victimization and crime. We hypothesize that violence may embolden some victims and contribute to their perception that offending is not dangerous. We examine the mediating effects of these perceptions alongside two other potential links between violent victimization and crime: deviant definitions and risk seeking.

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Concurrent Mental Health and Substance Use Problems Among Street-Involved Youth International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction


The aim of the current study was to expand on current knowledge of comorbidity among street-involved youth by examining prevalence and correlates of self-reported concurrent mental health and substance use problems among a sample of 150 street-involved youth in Toronto, Canada.

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Exploring Gender and Sexual Minority Status Among Street-Involved Youth Vulnerable Children & Youth Studies, International Interdisciplinary Journal for Research, Policy and Care


This article compares heterosexual and sexual minority street-involved youth across a number of sociodemographic, risk and current mental health, victimization and delinquency measures with a particular focus on gender differences.

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