The importance of geographical location to people who have experienced homelessness

ANDERSON, Paul M. (2023). The importance of geographical location to people who have experienced homelessness. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Recently, the number of people experiencing homelessness moving to unfamiliar geographical locations to secure accommodation has increased. One impact of Covid-19 lockdown was movements of people sleeping rough into emergency accommodation in new locations. This research investigated the importance of location to people who have experienced homelessness, and their agency around it; subjects, on which, little academic literature exists. The temporary relocation of people experiencing rough sleeping into hotels created opportunities to research their experiences. The largely inductive methods chosen, involved qualitative interviews with this group and with a smaller group of people in more settled accommodation. Data was supplemented by 10 qualitative interviews with other key stakeholders. Also, a short questionnaire was completed by 104 people in various other Covid-19 emergency accommodation. Data was analysed using the writings of Bauman on the plight of the poorest within neoliberalism. Innovatively, the research told the lived experience stories of people who had recently slept rough and moved to temporary accommodation. The findings show both they, and people who had previously experienced homelessness, value a number of aspects of location such as existing social contacts and work opportunities. However, many feel they have little chance of actualising these preferences.. The contributions to academic knowledge can be summarised thus: 1. People experiencing homelessness have needs and wants around location 2. The practical relationship they have with relocation is often best understood in terms of displacement rather than attachment or ambivalence. 3. Their needs and wants around location often clash with the reality of displacement 11 4. Agencies trying to help people experiencing homelessness, feel like they are operating in a structural straitjacket created by a lack of resources. This limits the support they can provide 5. Bauman’s analysis helps identify the covert mechanisms by which people experiencing homelessness are displaced and excluded from locations in neoliberal societies. 6. Largely inductive methods are particularly valuable in drawing-out and understanding the experiences of people experiencing homelessness 7. Conducting research with people who have experienced homelessness without face-to-face contact is possible, but there are drawbacks, including methodological limitations and complex ethical questions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Green, Stephen [0000-0002-7813-0564] (Affiliation: Sheffield Hallam University)
Additional Information: Director of studies: Dr. Stephen Green
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 08 Apr 2024 15:51
Last Modified: 09 Apr 2024 12:10

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