Bryany Denning


Bryany Denning is a PhD Candidate at the Université de Genève and Senior Advisor on Problematic Substance Use for the Government of the Northwest Territories.

Node Funded Project (June 2023)

Title: Spruce Bough program evaluation

Principal Investigator: Bryany Denning (Yellowknife)


Dr. Pertice Moffitt, Aurora Research Institute, Dr. Barbara Broers, Université de Genève, Renee Sanderson, Yellowknife Women’s Society, Tracey Pope, Manager of Shelter Services, Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority


The Spruce Bough is a supportive living facility, opened in for individuals experiencing homelessness who, due to multi-morbidity, are perceived as needing on-site supports in order to be successfully housed.  Supports include a managed alcohol program (MAP), as well as meals, outreach nursing supports, and connections to various activities and support services in the community.    The majority of Spruce Bough residents are Indigenous people from communities across the Northwest Territories, and all have experiences of substance use disorder, though only some residents are participating in the MAP.

The Spruce Bough has been operating since May 2020, and some quantitative data has been collected, but there has been limited feedback from the residents on how living at the Spruce Bough, and/or participation in the MAP, has impacted their lives.  Research into the impact living at the Spruce Bough has on residents was identified as a need in order to provide justification for ongoing program funding, and potential expansion of this model throughout the territory.

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