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Copy of Family Homelessness
Transcript of Copy of Family Homelessness
How the Homeless Construct the Road to Self-Sufficiency Research
Questions Literature Review Social Identity Theory Homeless Families Homeward Bound Thesis What barriers must homeless families overcome to reach their self-sufficiency?
How do they define their self-sufficiency?
What resources are most important for homeless families to achieve this goal? Eliminating family homelessness can be accomplished by assisting families to become self-sufficient in
overcoming barriers with the use of increased emergency shelters, transitional housing units and providing resources. One-third of the nations homeless population
Average family size
Cycle of Homelessness “Cycle of homelessness can be ended by shifting focus from reliance on public assistance programs to participation in programs that foster independence through educational components” ICP Shelters and
Programs Emergency shelters
Requirements of a family shelter
Estival Place Barriers Resources
Life skill classes
Case manager meetings
Staff and client relationship How a person places himself or herself within certain groups in society Methodology Gatekeeper
Qualitative study conducted through seven in-depth interviews (which lasted between 30-90 minutes)
Interview participants had to be over 18 and must be part of a family
Interviews were transcribed
Manifest and latent coding *Family is defined, by Joyce Lavery (Executive Director of Safe Haven Family Shelter), as a woman or man (over the age of 18), married or unmarried, and either pregnant or have children under the age of 18. Demographics of Participants Eight individuals were interviewed (five single mothers, one single father and a married couple)
Age range from 24-46
Seven African American participants and one Caucasian
Five participants were enrolled in Safe Haven at the time of the interviews and three had already graduated Barriers Lack of
Familial Support All eight participants stated that lack of a
family was a major cause of homelessness. Five out of the eight (62.5%) participants
said they lost contact with their family
due to pride. Pride “My number one barrier was pride. Oh my
gosh, yes. I was such a prideful person. It killed
me to ask for help. I was embarrassed people has
this certain perception of who I was, so I couldn’t
tell no-one what was happenin’. My mom to this day
does not know I was at Safe Haven for 89 days. I
has way to much pride and it would have killed
her to know I didn’t go to her for help.”
– Renee Drugs Familial drug use caused four of the eight (50%) participants to move out of their home before
the age of 18. “When I was 16, I took her [mother] to court and
became emancipated [because of her excessive drug use]. I moved, dropped out of school, got a job at a little café, and moved into a trailer”
– Phyllis Pregnancy
at A Young Age Lack of
Childcare “I could never do this today
but I would put them [two sons]
in a play pen in the back kitchen
[at Waffle House]. It sounds bad
but babysitters cost way too
much during 3rd shift”
– Phyllis Findings Resources Practice of
Faith All eight of the participants
practice their faith weekly. “Since I give offerings and
attend weekly church,
they were able to
help me with some rent!”
– Renee Staff Support “ The people here at Safe Haven..
you can’t ask for nothin’ better!
From Brandy [therapist] to Ms. Joyce
[Executive Director] to Ms. Jennifer
[Case Manager], they all treat you
differently. They make you accountable
but they also let you know they are
there to talk to. I never had
nobody like that! ”
- Charles Budgeting Class Six of the eight (75%)
participants said the budgeting
class is the most helpful.
It meets weekly and
teaches the families how to
budget their lifestyle
based on their income. Self Improvement
Class Renee, a former resident at Safe Haven, has reached her self-sufficiency and now comes back monthly to teach and motivate the current residents.
Four of the eight (50%) participants stated this is enlightening. “Renee…I mean it feels good knowing someone could be as successful as her who was homeless at one point, I mean really? We was just so in amazement, all the knowledge she knew that I didn’t even know. It gave me a lot of hope, knowing things will and can get better. See…right there, it can happen!”
– Latoya Transportation Self-Sufficiency “How will you know when you have ‘made it’ and successfully exited homelessness?” Home
Ownership “Not only owning a home, but it has
gotta be in the best school district
around. My kids are gon’ have a
bright future. Safe Haven is helpin’
me get there. I’m on track.”
– Kiera Affording Things
for Their Children “Everythin’ I’m doin’ now… is so my
kids can have a better future than me and
they gotta be successful doin’ it. I always promise
stuff like as long as they continue school. I will pay
for whatever, ya know? You wanna car? I’ll get you
a car. But you ain’t finna just get by, you wanna
play sports? Fine you know what I’m sayin’?
Just keep your grades up… and get a
scholarship so I don’t hafta pay!!
No I’m jokin’… kinda…”
–Kiera Debt Free
and Clean Records "I had to live in a hotel. I couldn't
get a place with my eviction on my
record. Once I own a house, I will
be relieved of the fear of never being
able to qualify for a house."
-Renee Discussion If the sample from Safe Haven was larger and followed the same trends as those who did participate, this would likely replicate Nunez and Fox's (1999) findings. Nunez and
Fox Safe Haven 78% Single mothers
18% Two parents
3% Single fathers 63% Single mothers
18% Two parents
12.5% Single fathers Staff Members Relationship Safe Haven and Estival Place 47% of homeless parents drop out of
school because of pregnancy or lack of
African Americans make up 12% of
United States’ general population but
they make up for over half of the
homeless population "Every transitional housing program includes programs designed to empower the homeless people." Personal and Social Those in a dominant or 'higher' social group, attain a more positive social identity. Thus populations, such as homeless, understand they hold a negative social status when compared to others in society. Four of the eight (50%) participants had children before they were 21 years old. *All four of these participants were single parents All eight participants also stated support provided by the staff was a helpful resource. Herth's research stated that the staff members at shelters are key ingredients to success. Three participants (38%) in this study have graduated from Safe Haven but have created such a close relationship with the staff, that they continue to come back. Phyllis Charles Renee Similarities: Case management
Attend school or find a job
Attend weekly life skills classes
Deposit 30% of income into savings Safe Haven Family Shelter has an 86% success rate. Since the rate is extremely high, it proves to be an adequate way to end family homelessness. Expensive
Family not individual
Rejects people with addictions Safe Haven may not be as effective if they decreased the
standards of whom they allow into the program. Conclusion Caroline Keep Safe Haven Family Shelter Located in Nashville, TN
Accommodates five families*
Zero-tolerance of drugs and alcohol
Up to 90-day stay in emergency shelter
Up to two years in transitional housing Unemployment
Lack of Education
Lack of Support
Lack of Affordable Childcare
Lack of a Permanent Address
Lack of Transportation
Identity (race and status)
Substance Abuse (Howard 2000) (Nunez and Fox 1999, Metraux and Culhane 1999, Institute for Children and Poverty 1996) (Washington 2002, Herth 1996, Glisson et al. 2001) (Nunez and Fox 1999, Bassuk et al. 1986) Memphis, Tennessee
36 transitional housing units
Transitional housing program for up to one year
Funded through U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
Case manager meetings
Life skills classes
Job development coordinator (Washington 2002, Glisson et al. 2001) (Herth 1996) (Nunez and Fox 1999) Pros Cons In-depth conversations
Feel of a focus group No generalizations
Embarrassment could lead to false answers
Was not completely random Safe Haven provided a drug free environment, shelter and food. Basic needs were met so focus could be spent on the classes to increase their self sufficiency thus empowering them to take steps to be successful.
Further research could be to measure homeless families self-efficacy.
This study also has future implications to study deeper into cultural beliefs and norms to see if there are any patterns created from different backgrounds. Questions?