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Welfare Reform on the Web (February 2008): Homelessness - overseas

Feasibility study of the social enterprise intervention with homeless youth

K.M. Ferguson and B. Xie

Research on Social Work Practice, vol. 18, 2008, p. 5-19

The social enterprise intervention seeks to engage homeless street youth in vocational training and mental health services in an effort to enhance their mental health status, prosocial behaviours, social support and service utilisation. It was piloted over 12 months with 16 homeless youths at a drop-in centre in Los Angeles. Results showed that participants displayed significant improvements at 9 months in life satisfaction, family contact, peer support and depressive symptoms.

Neo-corporatist governance of homelessness services in Dublin: reconceptualization, incorporation and exclusion

E. Phelan and M. Norris

Critical Social Policy, vol. 28, 2008, p. 51-73

Social partnership or coporatist arrangements have been applied to the governance of homelessness services in Dublin city and suburbs. This is achieved via the Homeless Agency which was established in 2000 to administer funding for homelessness services in the region and to work towards the co-ordination of provision. It is managed by a board constituted along corporatist lines that includes representatives of central and local government, other public sector agencies and the voluntary sector. Analysis suggests that the changing governance of homelessness is associated with a redefinition of the causes and consequently of the most appropriate solutions to homelessness from the structuralist to the individualist, thus reducing the responsibilities of the state, while expanding the role of the voluntary sector. In addition, these reforms have seen the incorporation of formerly independent voluntary sector service providers into the sphere of influence of the state and the professionalisation of these services. The outcomes of this process have been positive in many respects as the numbers of homeless people have fallen.

Organizing homeless people: exploring the emergence of a user organization in Denmark

J. Anker

Critical Social Policy, vol. 28, 2008, p. 27-50

People who are homeless are traditionally perceived as some of the most vulnerable and isolated in society with limited control over their lives. Yet, against the odds, a national interest organisation was formed in 2001 in Denmark. This article identifies the processes that facilitated the formation of the organisation:

  • Growth of a new ideological concern for participatory practices in social welfare during the 1980s and 1990s.
  • Provision of resources and support and establishment of the right to form user councils by the Ministry of Social Affairs
  • Support from progressive social workers and leaders of institutions for the homeless
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