Jino Distasio, PhD
University of Winnipeg
Mental Health, Homelessness, and Quality of Life
Jino Distasio is an Associate Professor of Geography and Director of the Institute of Urban Studies at the University of Winnipeg. For over a decade, Dr. Distasio has worked in Winnipeg’s inner city as well as researching Canadian and global urban issues. During this period he has been involved in over 100 research projects, publications and community initiatives. His most recent effort is serving as Co-Principal Investigator in a project examining homelessness and mental health in Canadian cities. This $110 million dollar project is funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada and is the largest such initiative to be conducted in Canadian history.
Areas of interest include mental health and homelessness, urban sustainability and quality of life; Aboriginal mobility and housing; downtown revitalization strategies; urban economic development. In addition to research Jino has actively participated on numerous inner city committees and boards. This has included serving on the Mayor’s Rapid Transit Taskforce, the Zoning Advisory Committee, and the Downtown Housing Strategy. He also helped produce Winnipeg’s first urban Aboriginal housing plan in partnership with the Manitoba Urban Native Housing Association and has twice coordinated undating Winnipeg’s Federal Homelessness Plan. In 2010 he was appointed to the boards of the Westminster Housing Society and Habitat for Humanity.
At the national level, Jino has led several multi-city projects that have examined hidden homelessness, working poverty and most recently he coordinated the development of a national index of neighbourhood distress in Canadian cities. He is routinely asked to provide both local and national media comment on issues relating to urban change and poverty, transportation, inner city renewal and other civic and urban issues.