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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2006

Helen Taylor, Maria Stuttaford and Panos Vostanis

Young homeless people have mental health needs. Research and national policies have highlighted that accommodation providers need to offer holistic interventions to…

Abstract

Young homeless people have mental health needs. Research and national policies have highlighted that accommodation providers need to offer holistic interventions to encourage this vulnerable group to break the cycle of homelessness. Currently no research literature documents how homeless shelters respond to mental health needs. This research was intended to address this research question.A postal questionnaire was sent to 132 managers of homeless shelters, achieving a response rate of 64.4%. Frequencies and descriptive statistics were calculated, and written data was analysed using content analysis. Mental health problems were highly prevalent, and homeless shelters responded in a variety of ways (use of GP services, internal services, referring to external services, in‐house outreach services, no service provision, etc). Only 27.1% of managers of homeless shelters reported that their services were sufficient to meet their young people's needs. These findings reflect the need for inclusion of mental health in homeless shelters' strategic objectives, and development of commissioning of local partnerships with health agencies.

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Housing, Care and Support, vol. 9 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Article
Publication date: 10 June 2014

Hans Oh and Sam Albertson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the objectives and overall approach of a faith-based homeless outreach campaign. It aims to stimulate wider discussion about how…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the objectives and overall approach of a faith-based homeless outreach campaign. It aims to stimulate wider discussion about how civil society can play a role in achieving participatory parity for the homeless.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, this viewpoint paper then connects practical considerations to extant literature on community inclusion.

Findings

This particular homeless outreach campaign generated a tremendous amount of volunteerism – perhaps unparalleled relative to any other recent campaign driven by civil society. Yet it aimed only to funnel the homeless into the private social sector. Furthermore, most of the homeless people engaged on the streets did not complete the rehabilitation programs.

Research limitations/implications

Campaigns such as this may need to adopt discursive habits in order to recognize the social distances that must be bridged between the housed and the homeless. With greater reflexivity, volunteers can use their interactions with the homeless to develop empathy, compassion, and understanding. Volunteers may then feel inspired to leverage their personal resources to address community perceptions of homelessness, or to advocate for systematic changes.

Originality/value

This paper suggests recasting the goals of homeless campaigns to include the development of social bridges between the housed and the homeless, which can guide advocacy efforts.

Details

Housing, Care and Support, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1460-8790

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Book part
Publication date: 14 October 2011

Jason Adam Wasserman and Jeffrey Michael Clair

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the centrality of the tabula rasa concept of self for the medical model of homeless service provision. Using four years of…

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to illustrate the centrality of the tabula rasa concept of self for the medical model of homeless service provision. Using four years of ethnographic data analyzed with a grounded fractal methodology, we illustrate the logical interconnections between the particular phenomena of homeless service institutions and broad cultural contexts. While social science has been somewhat critical of the medicalization of homelessness, its shared supposition about the self has relegated it to structural critiques that offer little to the currently homeless and those who want to help them. In contrast, we illuminate a path toward the development of an alternative pedagogy of individualism that is more directly responsive to the problematics of the medical model of homeless service provision.

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Studies in Symbolic Interaction
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78052-156-5

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Book part
Publication date: 31 October 2017

Hugo Aguas

This is a demographical exploration of a wide variety of topics, which are as follows: gender, race, age, employment, substance abuse, mental illness, physical illness…

Abstract

This is a demographical exploration of a wide variety of topics, which are as follows: gender, race, age, employment, substance abuse, mental illness, physical illness, veteran status, government assistance, physical & sexual abuse, hunger, and space. All of these topics were explored in conjuncture to ascertain who the homeless are. To explore this topic, data from LAHSA (Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority) was utilized to calculate demographical aspects of the homeless population with a raw sample of 4,852. I coded this data to further find insight among the population. Throughout this study it was found that nearly 60% of the homeless population in Los Angeles County are unemployed, 50% of the population have been incarcerated, a third of the population is homeless by age 20, a quarter of the population are women, and a third don’t utilize government assistance programs.

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Environmental Criminology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-377-9

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2019

Harry Tan

At the turn of the twenty-first century, a “new orthodoxy” in explaining homelessness had emerged in the field of homeless research. Combining structural and individual…

Abstract

At the turn of the twenty-first century, a “new orthodoxy” in explaining homelessness had emerged in the field of homeless research. Combining structural and individual factors, the consensus is that people with personal problems are more vulnerable than others to the structural conditions of becoming homeless.

Drawing on a three-year ethnographic study of older homeless people (aged 50 years and above) in Singapore, this chapter highlights three issues with this new orthodoxy. The first is the continued reliance on a strict dichotomy of structural and individual factors. This strict dichotomy does not reflect the realities in people’s lives. The “individual vulnerabilities” of older people in the study had structural dimensions that must be considered as well. The second is the framing of individual vulnerabilities as individual pathologies. This way of framing homelessness results in the assumption that there is something deficient with all people who are homeless that requires correction. Such a view is encapsulated in the compulsory institutionalisation and rehabilitation of rough sleepers in Singapore. The final and most fundamental issue is the problematic association of individual vulnerabilities with one’s heightened risk of becoming homeless. Older people in the study did not become homeless solely because they had more personal problems or issues than others. Rather, multiple pathways (or life events) that encompass both structural and individual factors weakened their ability to draw resources from work, family and friends and government assistance. Homelessness occurred when older people in the study ran out of all these three options.

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Book part
Publication date: 15 October 2013

Janeal M. McCauley, Kimberly A. Wallet, Molly J. Dahm and Connie S. Ruiz

The focus of the study was to explore the understanding of family among homeless adults in Southeast Texas. We incorporated both qualitative and quantitative methods by…

Abstract

The focus of the study was to explore the understanding of family among homeless adults in Southeast Texas. We incorporated both qualitative and quantitative methods by interviewing two key groups (short-term homeless, long-term homeless) over a 16-week period. Thirty homeless participants were interviewed using 18 questions designed to explore their understanding of family and the social supports that lead to resiliency. Participant ages ranged from 19 to 56 with an average of 44 years. Twenty-six participants were male and four were female. Half of all homeless participants claimed to lack familial support from either biological family or close friends. Among short-term homeless individuals, five of seventeen identified their biological family as fulfilling the role of a traditional family, while among long-term homeless adults, five of thirteen identified their friends as fulfilling the role of a familial unit. A recurring theme emerged in which participants defined family as those individuals who were consistently accessible for support, whether biological relations or non-related friends and companions. As we seek to improve our programs of assistance and advocacy, these findings become important as a step toward honoring our clients and recognizing the validity of their perceived realities as we reconstruct the models by which we facilitate interaction and intervention.

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Visions of the 21st Century Family: Transforming Structures and Identities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78350-028-4

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Book part
Publication date: 21 October 2008

Dennis P. Watson, Christine George and Christopher Walker

The homelessness of those 50–64, older homeless people, is a growing problem in the United States. This chapter seeks to understand the unique healthcare issues faced by…

Abstract

The homelessness of those 50–64, older homeless people, is a growing problem in the United States. This chapter seeks to understand the unique healthcare issues faced by this population. Data in the city of Chicago was collected and analyzed through a variety of qualitative and quantitative methods. Data included answers to survey questions by older homeless individuals, interviews with providers and older homeless individuals, focus groups with older homeless individuals, and agency data from homeless service organizations. Findings agree with previous research that shows a growth in the homeless population, the greater number and severity of health problems in the population, the significant number of barriers that the population encounters in obtaining health care, housing, and jobs, and the concern with preventative health that the older homeless have. After outlining these findings, this chapter offers policy and program recommendations for the larger health care and homeless service systems.

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Care for Major Health Problems and Population Health Concerns: Impacts on Patients, Providers and Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-160-2

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Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2015

Susan C. Bon and Nicole D. Snyder

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) establishes basic levels of service, support, and protection for homeless students and families in the…

Abstract

The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 11431 et seq.) establishes basic levels of service, support, and protection for homeless students and families in the United States and specifically prohibits discrimination while ensuring educational rights. According to the 2014 Annual Homeless Assessment Report, homelessness continues to be a pervasive concern, particularly for children under the age of 18 who account for nearly 25% (135,701) of homeless individuals, and youth between 18 and 24 who represent nearly 10% (58,601) of the homeless population. Despite the statutory protections afforded by McKinney-Vento, a number of barriers persist and prevent full enjoyment of the basic rights established by the Act. Overcoming these barriers in the courts has provided some relief, but is insufficient given the limits of McKinney-Vento. Thus, homeless students and families need school leaders who promote social justice and educational opportunities to prepare them for meaningful participation in democratic society. This chapter provides analysis regarding the legal rights of homeless youth, including an overview of significant cases and federal policy updates, and concludes with several recommendations for school leaders to establish clear guidelines and implement procedures to address the educational needs of homeless students.

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Legal Frontiers in Education: Complex Law Issues for Leaders, Policymakers and Policy Implementers
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-577-2

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2008

Mirella Landriscina

As cities choose entrepreneurial strategies to lure the mobile corporate service sector and its professional workforce, they also present more forbidding faces to the…

Abstract

As cities choose entrepreneurial strategies to lure the mobile corporate service sector and its professional workforce, they also present more forbidding faces to the working class and poor. Scholars and activists have pointed to the passage of public conduct laws as evidence of how modern cities signal to the poor that their downtown cores are reserved for the privileged classes. Yet, even as scholars and advocates attest to the growing “meanness” of American cities, their reports have also routinely showcased cities that develop alternatives to criminalization. This chapter presents data from a historical case study of homeless politics in Philadelphia to shed light on the complex local dynamics undergirding or challenging the modern urban phenomena of “anti-homeless” legislation. Though a pro-development paradigm has slowly transformed Philadelphia since the early 1990s, the local business community has been consistently unsuccessful in its attempts to have new public conduct legislation passed or to have existing laws stringently enforced. Urban regime theory helps explain how a network of local homeless service provider and advocacy organizations has been able to use collaborative strategies to effectively shape the politics and policies of street regulation in the city.

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Politics and Public Policy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-178-7

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Book part
Publication date: 23 November 2017

Timothy Stablein

Amid widespread social and cultural shifts and advocacy toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights remain a hidden population of homeless adolescents who…

Abstract

Purpose

Amid widespread social and cultural shifts and advocacy toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) rights remain a hidden population of homeless adolescents who are cast out from families and communities because of their sexual and gender orientation. The result is an over-representation of LGBT adolescents among the homeless in the United States. The purpose of this paper is to provide a review of literature and research which explores the status and needs of LGBT homeless adolescents in the United States.

Methodology/approach

To understand the experiences of LGBT adolescents leading up to and during homelessness, I provide a thematic and critical review of four decades of research to connect our understanding of the LGBT homeless experience with institutional and collective efforts that work to promote their well-being.

Findings

Bringing together this body of literature, I explore four interrelated questions. First, has the rate of homelessness increased for LGBT adolescents in recent decades? Second, what is the experience of LGBT adolescents who become homeless? Third, what role does advocacy and support play in ameliorating the difficulties these young people face? Finally, what role can future research and policy play in shaping the well-being of LGBT adolescents who become homeless?

Research limitations/implications

Understanding the experience of homeless LGBT adolescents and the collective advocacy efforts designed to promote their well-being offers insight into the intersection of symbolic, inter-personal, and institutional forces which shape their trajectories.

Details

Gender, Sex, and Sexuality Among Contemporary Youth
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-613-6

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