“Understand my side, my situation, and my story:” Insights into the service needs among substance-abusing homeless mothers.

Substance abuse among homeless mothers has negative consequences for both the mother and her child. Few researchers have examined the needs of these mothers in order to effectively intervene in their lives. This study uses a qualitative focus group research method to examine the needs of substance abusing homeless mothers recruited from a homeless families' shelter. Twenty eight women were engaged in three focus groups to identify their needs and acceptable intervention components. Content analysis of data revealed five major categories of needs: subsistence, employment, education and information, service, and counseling and connectedness needs. Findings of this study call for a multifaceted intervention approach that targets several areas of need in a coordinated manner.

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Journal of Community Psychology