An Exploration into the Lives of Previously Homeless Young People who have Lived in Temporary Supported Housing as Adolescents: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

An Exploration into the Lives of Previously Homeless Young People who have Lived in Temporary Supported Housing as Adolescents: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

Previous research into youth homelessness has primarily focused on specific aspects within one’s homeless experience. This study offers exclusive access to four young adults who experienced homelessness as adolescents. Exploration of their retrospective experiences has the potential to inform professionals of the key influences involved in helping one exit homelessness successfully. Participants were recruited through opportunity sampling, and semi-structured interviews were employed to ensure that flexible, rich and detailed accounts of their experiences were obtained. Through interpretative phenomenological analysis three pre-eminent themes were identified, these were ‘Loss of Identity’, ‘A Sense of Belonging’ and ‘Positive Growth’. A conspicuous lack of referral was placed on the loss of one’s physical home, and strong predominance was placed on the psychological loss of one’s character and future. Participants demonstrated a re-established identity and self-worth through the community formed within the long-term temporary accommodation. Through participant’s strong sense of belonging and acceptance, a new positive mental attitude was formulated, which enhanced individual’s ability to overcome obstacles and aim for a positive future. The research suggests that homeless youths may be better housed in communal groups than in permanent housing alone

JOURNAL: MMU Psychology Journal (Dissertations)
PUBLICATION DATE: 2017