Julia Woodhall-Melnik

Associate Professor


Social Science

Hazen Hall 210

Saint John

1 506 648 5522

Other titles

Canada Research Chair in Resilient Communities

Julia Woodhall-Melnik is an Associate Professor with the Department of Social Science, in the Faculty of Arts at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John. She is also the Canada Research Chair in Resilient Communities. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology and her Certification in University Teaching from the University of Waterloo where her research focused on investigating employment in low-waged service sector work as a social determinant of health. During this time, Julia also led a variety of analyses of publicly funded housing options for low-income households with non-profit organizations and academic think tanks. Julia held a Canadian Institutes of Health Research post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University.

Julia continues to produce innovative research which explores employment and housing as social determinants of physical and mental health, addiction and wellbeing. Her work, which is currently supported by SSHRC, CIHR, the NBHRF and NBIF, investigates the effectiveness of publicly funded rehousing and housing loss prevention interventions on health and housing outcomes, employment and income. Julia employs both qualitative and quantitative methods in her work and is adept at community based research. Julia is profoundly committed to incorporating the voices of persons with lived-experience of poverty and low-income into her research. Her goal is to produce research that positively impacts the quality of life of low-income and impoverished Canadians.

Julia is the Principle Investigator of the Housing, Mobilization & Engagement Research Laboratory (HOME-RL). HOME-RL engages community members, academics, and students in research and experiential education opportunities that are designed to ultimately promote community resilience and wellbeing. Through this lab, students are provided with the opportunity to engage in world class, methodologically rigorous research while building relationships within the community and developing their skills to become academic leaders themselves.

Selected publications

Matheson, F. I., Dastoori, P., Hahmann, T., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Guilcher, S. J., & Hamilton-Wright, S. (2021). Prevalence of Problem Gambling Among Women Using Shelter and Drop-in Services. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction.

Mejia-Lancheros, C., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Wang, R., Hwang, S. W., Stergiopoulos, V., & Durbin, A. (2021). Associations of resilience with quality of life levels in adults experiencing homelessness and mental illness: a longitudinal study. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes, 19(1), 1-9.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., & Weissman, E. P. (2021). Living with disaster: exploring complex decisions to stay in or leave flood prone areas. Housing Studies, 1-23.

Mejia-Lancheros, C., Lachaud, J., Woodhall-Melnik, J., O'Campo, P., Hwang, S. W., & Stergiopoulos, V. (2021). Longitudinal interrelationships of mental health discrimination and stigma with housing and well-being outcomes in adults with mental illness and recent experience of homelessness. Social Science & Medicine, 268, 113463.

Woodhall-Melnik, J. & Grogan, C. (2019). Perceptions of Mental Health and Wellbeing Following Residential Displacement and Damage from the 2018 St. John River Flood. International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health, 16(21), 4174-4188.

Wright, E., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Hamilton-Wright, S., Guilcher, S.J.T., Wendaferew, A., Schuler, A., & Matheson, F.I. (2019). Reflections on Poverty, Homelessness, and Problem Gambling: Discoveries from a World Café. Journal of Gambling Issues, 42(4), 62-84.

Woodhall-Melnik, J. (2018). It was a meaningless job: exploring post-secondary students’ perceptions of their employment in the fast food industry. Canadian Journal of Family & Youth, 10, 275-298.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Dunn, J. R., Svenson, S., Patterson, C., & Matheson, F. I. (2018). Men’s experiences of early life trauma and pathways into long-term homelessness. Child Abuse & Neglect, 80, 216-225.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Dunn, J. R., Svenson, S., Patterson, C., & Matheson, F. I. (2018). “Men’s experiences of early life trauma and pathways into long-term homelessness.” Child abuse & neglect. Vol. 80, pp.216-225.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Dunn, JR, Svenson, S, Hamilton-Wright, S., Patterson, C., Waterfield, D., Kirst, M., and Matheson, FI. (2017). “Finding a Place to Start: Exploring Meanings of Housing Stability in Hamilton’s Male Housing First Participants.” Housing, Theory, and Society. Vol. 34 (3), pp. 359-375.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Hamilton-Wright, S., Daoud, N., Matheson, FI., Dunn, JR., O’Campo, P. (2017). “Establishing Stability: Exploring the Meaning of ‘Home’ for Women who Have Experienced Intimate Partner Violence.” Journal of Housing and the Built Environment. Vol. 32 (2), pp. 253-268.

Hamilton-Wright, S., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Guilcher, SJT., Schuler, A., Wendaferew, A., Hwang, S., Matheson, FI. (2016). “Gambling in the Landscape of Adversity in Youth: Reflections from Men who live with Poverty and Homelessness.” International Journal of Environmental Research & Public Health. Vol. 13 (9), pp. 854-871.

Guilcher, SJT., Hamilton-Wright, S., Skinner, W., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Ferentzy, P., Wendaferew, A., Hwang, SW., Matheson, FI. (2016). “Talk with me: Perspectives on Services for Men with Problem Gambling and Housing Instability.” BMC Health Services Research. Vol. 16 (1), pp. 340-353.

Woodhall-Melnik, J. and Matheson, FI. (2016). “More than Convenience: The Role of Habitus in Understanding the Food Choices of Fast Food Workers.” Journal of Work, Employment, and Society. DOI: 10.1177/9050017016648255.

Devotta, K., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Pederson, C., Wendaferew, A., Dowbor, T.P., Guilcher, S.J., Hamilton-Wright, S., Hwang, S.W., Matheson, F.I. (2016). “Enriching Qualitative Research by Engaging Peer Interviewers: A Case Study.” Qualitative Research. Vol. 16 (6), pp. 661-680.

Poremski, D., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Lemieux, A., Stergiopolous, V. (2015). “Persisting Barriers to Employment for Recently Housed Adults with Mental Illness Who Were Homeless.” Journal of Urban Health, Vol. 93 (1), pp. 96-108.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Misir, V., Kaufman-Shiriqui, V., Stergiopolous, V., O’Campo, P., Hwang, SW. (2015). “The Impact of a 24 Month Housing First Intervention on Participants’ Body Mass Index and Waist Circumference: Results from the At Home / Chez Soi Toronto Site Randomized Controlled Trial.” PLOS One, Vol. 10 (9), pp. e0137069.

Woodhall-Melnik, J and Dunn, JR. (2015). “A Systematic Review of Housing First Evidence.” Housing Studies, Vol. 31 (3), pp. 287-304.

Woodhall-Melnik, J., Cooke, M., and Bigelow, P. (2015). “Serving the Fast Food Nation: Exploring Body Mass Index in Food Service Workers.” WORK: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation, Vol. 52 (4), pp. 901-909.

Velonis, A., Daoud, N., Matheson, F., Woodhall-Melnik, J., Hamilton-Wright, S., O’Campo, P. (2015). “Strategizing Safety: Theoretical Frameworks to Understand Women’s Decision Making in the Face of Partner Violence and Social Inequities.” Journal of Interpersonal Violence. DOI 0886260515598953.

Cooke, M., Woodhall, J., McWhirter, J. (2013). “The Social and Health Service Needs of Aboriginal Peoples in Smaller Urban Centres in Southern Ontario: A Synthesis Paper for Service Agencies.” Population Change and Life Course Strategic Knowledge Cluster Discussion Paper Series, Vol. 1 (1), pp. 1-28.

Woodhall, J. and Muszynski, A. (2011). “Fordism at Work in Canadian Coffee Shops.” Just Labour, Vol. 17-18, pp. 56-69.

Woodhall, J. and Leach, B. (2010). “Who Will Fight for Us?: Union Designated Women’s Advocates in Auto Manufacturing Workplaces.” Just Labour, Vol. 16, pp. 44-58.