Losing and finding a home: a life course approach

Lead Research Organisation: University of Salford
Department Name: Sch of the Built Environment


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Description This study collected the life histories of 104 people with experience of homelessness and/or who are seen as multiply excluded in various ways. The overall aim was to develop an in-depth understanding of 'multiple exclusion homelessness' (MEH) grounded in these life stories. Multiple exclusion homelessness can be broadly defined as:
being adversely affected by a combination of factors such as family conflict, worklessness, poverty, mental ill health, substance misuse, physical impairments, and personal traumas, plus episodes of homelessness. They are routinely excluded from effective contact from services, may be living chaotic lives and can experience serious difficulty in achieving settled accommodation or sustaining a tenancy.

The study was situated in Stoke-on-Trent in the United Kingdom and explored the factors underpinning homelessness across the life cycle and how these were interpreted by the individuals. Key findings include:
• The events immediately preceding a period of homelessness are rarely the sole 'trigger' for homelessness. Rather, there is often an 'accumulation of triggers' (Ravenhill, 2008) over the life-course of an individual, which results in them becoming homeless.
• The social networks of people can both increase the exclusion experienced by individuals as well as offering support to find a route out of homelessness.
• Hostels can have a significant positive impact on individuals, depending on the availability of a diversity of hostel provision and the skills of keyworkers.
• Services need to become more psychologically informed and to epitomise a personalised approach.
Exploitation Route The key ways in which our findings could be taken forward revolve around unraveling the complexity associated with multiple exclusion homelessness. There is significant scope to pay attention to the role and utility of 'turning points' as a conceptual tool when looking at how to mitigate long-term homelessness. This could be useful for a range of sectors.

Similarly, our work outlines the need for new partnerships and alliances to be developed between a range of sectors including: the commercial sector, public services, voluntary organisations and the community, to address these issues
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice

URL http://www.researchcatalogue.esrc.ac.uk/grants/RES-188-25-0016/read
Description An evaluation of the Individual Budget approach to tackling rough sleeping in Wales
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Organisation Government of Wales 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 01/2011 
End 11/2013