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Welfare Reform on the Web (May 2007): Homelessness - UK

Mothers experiencing homelessness: mental health, support and social care needs

V. Tischler, A. Rademeyer and P. Vostanis

Health and Social Care in the Community, vol. 15, 2007, p. 246-253

This qualitative study aimed to describe mothers’ experience of homelessness in relation to their mental health, social support and social care needs. Twenty-eight homeless women with children residing in hostels in Birmingham were interviewed. Many described poor mental health, which they related to conditions in the hostels and the traumas they had experienced before becoming homeless. Data revealed a high level of social isolation in the sample due to long-term estrangement from family, geographical distance from kin, and relationship breakdown which precipitated homelessness. Some valued the support offered by staff and other residents, but the majority felt there was a lack of resources to address their needs.

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