The history of homelessness in America can be traced back to colonial times. From the propertyless colonist sold into slavery, to the families experiencing homelessness in the 21st century, homelessness has always been an experience characterized by social isolation, stigmatization, vilification, and rejection. The true prevalence of homelessness itself is not known due to methodological limitations and the way in which homelessness is defined. Being homeless is associated with negative health outcomes as it relates to both physical and mental health and homeless people suffer from a wide range of ailments that are exacerbated by their life on the streets. This study is an exploration of the lived experience of homeless individuals living in the Miami-Dade Health District, in an encampment that is situated strategically in between several community resources including both private and public hospitals, a soup kitchen, and homeless shelters. This study explores the experiences of homeless individuals in order to arrive at an essence of what being homeless is for the participants living in this specific area. The study also examines the way in which the experiences of homeless individuals should be accounted for and considered within clinical practice and as it relates to the provision of homeless services. Lastly, policy recommendations that stem from the informants who participated in this study are discussed in an effort to advance awareness of the injustices that are foisted upon perhaps the most marginalized individuals in our society.
|Commitee:||Heft Laporte, Heidi, Stuart, Paul|
|Department:||School of Social Work|
|School Location:||United States -- Florida|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Social work, Public policy|
|Keywords:||Homeless experiences, Homelessness, Isolation, Phenomenology, Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act, Stigmatization|
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