Narratives of Identity: Re-Presentation of Self in People Who Are Homeless.

It is important for the complexities of homelessness to be considered when constructing policy or practice relating to people who are without safe and stable accommodation. These complexities can be loosely categorised around the definitions, causes and experiences of homelessness. While definitions and causes are topics of current debates, study of the lived-experiences of homelessness remains an area that is largely under-researched. This paper explores some of the implications for social work and social workers when the individual's understanding and experience of her/his identity as a 'homeless person' and consequent relationships with service providers are not factored into policy and practice. This article draws on the findings of a study of homeless adults in inner city Adelaide to illustrate the author's arguments. It outlines the importance of listening to service users' perspectives in order to assess whether dominant constructions of social work, homelessness and ‘homeless people’ are meeting the needs of and improving outcomes for individual clients. More broadly, it is hoped that making these perspectives visible will assist in the development of ‘client-focused’ practice and policy. (excerpt from the source)

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Qualitative Health Research
Thousand Oaks