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Young Peoples Homeless Pathways Findings from a Three-Phase Biographical Longitudinal Study Paula Mayock, PhD Focus on Youth Conference Dublin Castle,

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Presentation on theme: "Young Peoples Homeless Pathways Findings from a Three-Phase Biographical Longitudinal Study Paula Mayock, PhD Focus on Youth Conference Dublin Castle,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Young Peoples Homeless Pathways Findings from a Three-Phase Biographical Longitudinal Study Paula Mayock, PhD Focus on Youth Conference Dublin Castle, 2 nd March 2011

2 Dr. Mary Louise Corr Dr. Mary Louise Corr Keele University Dr. Eoin OSullivan Dr. Eoin OSullivan Trinity College Dublin

3 Acknowledgements Young people who have participated in the research. Young people who have participated in the research. Services and service providers who have helped us to establish and maintain contact with the studys young people. Services and service providers who have helped us to establish and maintain contact with the studys young people. Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA): funding for Phase I of the research. Office of the Minister for Children and Youth Affairs (OMCYA): funding for Phase I of the research. Homeless Agency: funding for Phase II of the research. Homeless Agency: funding for Phase II of the research. OMCYA & Homeless Agency: funding for Phase III of the research. OMCYA & Homeless Agency: funding for Phase III of the research.

4 Overview of the Study Longitudinal study of homeless young people in Dublin. Longitudinal study of homeless young people in Dublin. Research set out to generate an in-depth understanding of the process of youth homelessness. Research set out to generate an in-depth understanding of the process of youth homelessness. Informed by a pathways approach Informed by a pathways approach

5 Pathways Approach The pathways approach seeks to map out and explain patterns (and changes) in the experience of homelessness over time. The pathways approach seeks to map out and explain patterns (and changes) in the experience of homelessness over time. Homelessness is not seen as a static or fixed state, rather an evolving status that is continually subject to change. Homelessness is not seen as a static or fixed state, rather an evolving status that is continually subject to change. It recognises that individuals can move into and out of homelessness at different stages in their life cycle. It recognises that individuals can move into and out of homelessness at different stages in their life cycle.

6 Study Aims To document, record and understand temporal changes in homeless young peoples living situations and to capture change in the homeless experience over time. To document, record and understand temporal changes in homeless young peoples living situations and to capture change in the homeless experience over time. To identify pathways or trajectories into, through and out of homelessness. To identify pathways or trajectories into, through and out of homelessness. To generate knowledge and understanding to inform policy-relevant recommendations related to service provision, early intervention and the prevention of negative health outcomes. To generate knowledge and understanding to inform policy-relevant recommendations related to service provision, early intervention and the prevention of negative health outcomes.

7 Methodology Phase I (September 2004 – January 2005) Life history interviews conducted with 40 homeless young people (23 males and 17 females) Life history interviews conducted with 40 homeless young people (23 males and 17 females) Criteria: Criteria: 1. Homeless or insecure accommodation 2. Between 14 and 22 years 3. Living in the Dublin metropolitan area for 6 months Phase II (September 2005 – August 2006) Tracking process Tracking process Information attained on the living situation of 37 of the 40 young people interviewed at Phase I. Information attained on the living situation of 37 of the 40 young people interviewed at Phase I. Follow-up interviews were conducted with 30 young people (16 males and 14 females) Follow-up interviews were conducted with 30 young people (16 males and 14 females)

8 Phase IPhase IIPhase III Young Men Young Women Total Phase III (August 2009 – December 2010) Second tracking process Information attained on the living situation of 32 of the 40 young people interviewed at Phase I. Interviews were conducted with 28 young people. Includes 5 young people who were not interviewed at Phase II. Young People Interviewed

9 Phase I Research Findings

10 Phase II Research Findings

11 Sample Overview Age of Respondents, Phases I to III Phase I : YP aged between 12 and 22 years. Phase II : YP aged between 15 and 24 years. Phase III: YP aged between 18 and 27 years.

12 Pathways Into Homelessness Becoming Homeless: process can be traced to childhood Traumatic life events: parental illness or death, family conflict, parental drug or alcohol abuse, school difficulties and/or experiences of violence or abuse Three Pathways Into Homelessness Pathway I:Care History (40%) Pathway II:Household Instability and Family Conflict Pathway III:Negative Peer Associations and Problem Behaviour Complex overlap between the three pathways (similarities between them)

13 Living Situations, Phase I ACCOMMODATION TYPEMales (N=23) Females (N=17) All (N=40) Emergency/Short term Residential Care Setting or Hostel (OHS) Longer-term Resid Setting/ Hostel 202 Adult Hostels/B&Bs 213 Between Hostel & Home 101 Street202 Prison303 Transitional/Supported Housing 112 Home022 TOTAL231740

14 Living Situations, Phase II ACCOMMODATION TYPE Males (n=20) Females (n=17) All (n=37) Emergency/Short term Residential Setting 011 Longer-term Residential Setting/ Hostel 000 Adult Hostels/B&Bs 314 Between Hostel & Home 000 Street213 Prison505 Transitional/Supported Housing 448 Home246 Private Rented Sector 202 Foster Care 012 Residential Drug Treatment 101 Residential Care 033 Special Care Unit 101 Caravan011 Deceased011 TOTAL201737

15 Living Situations, Phase III ACCOMMODATION TYPE MALEFEMALETOTAL Adult hostel/B&B 314 Streets202 Between streets/sofas 101 Prison505 Other (homeless) 101 Private Rented Sector 178 Home123 Local Authority Housing 101 Transitional./Supported Housing 022 Aftercare011 TOTAL151328

16 Homeless Pathways – Phase II HOMELESS PATHWAYS MFAll Pathway 1 Independent Exits from Homelessness Family home (6); Private rented sector accommodation (1) 257 Pathway 2 Dependent Exits from Homelessness Transition or supported housing unit (7); State care (3) 3710 Pathway 3 Continued Homelessness Adult hostel (4); rough sleeping (2); prison (5); Other (2) 11213

17 PHASE III PATHWAYS Continued Homelessness N = 13 (11M, 2F) Continued Homelessness N = 12 (11M, 1F) (8 from PH.II and 4 from PH.I) New Ind. Exit N = 3 (1M, 2F) New Dep. Exit N = 1 (female) PHASE II (N=30) PHASE III (N=28) Exit (N = 15) Homeless (N = 13) PHASE I – N = 40 Dependent Exit N = 10 (3M, 7F) Sustained Dep. Exit N = 1 (female) Return to Homelessness N = 1 (male) Dep.to Ind. Exit N = 6 (2M, 4F) Ind to Dep. Exit N =1 (female ) Independent Exit N = 7 ( 2M, 5F) Sustained Ind. Exit N = 3 (female)

18 Facilitating and Maintaining Homeless Exits Speedy Access to Secure Housing Speedy Access to Secure Housing Vast majority who exited homelessness and maintained this exit accessed more secure housing (either through an independent or independent exit at Phase II) relatively quickly. They exited OHS accommodation far more quickly than their counterparts to remained homeless. Far fewer experienced a long period of repeat admission to OHS accommodation.

19 Facilitating and Maintaining Homeless Exits Family Support Family Support Id be lost without them (parents) because theyre huge support for me and theyd do anything for me. So I cant complain about them too much (laugh)... Shes (Mum) learned to trust me and thats the biggest thing, theres a bit more trust in the family. [Anna, age 19, P.II] … its like a whole new relationship with my parents now...Its like, my mothers like my best friend now and so is my sister and me dad like theyre just, they have been just so amazing and I suppose this time Ive seen it [ … its like a whole new relationship with my parents now...Its like, my mothers like my best friend now and so is my sister and me dad like theyre just, they have been just so amazing and I suppose this time Ive seen it [Sarah, age 26, P.III]

20 Disaffiliation from Former Street Peers and OHS Scene Disaffiliation from Former Street Peers and OHS Scene The friends, like when I came out and got clean, everybody told me to stay away from all my old friends. Now, I dont go, Im not friends with any people that I was involved with in that kind of scene but people before then, Id be friends with now [Anna, age 22, P.III] The friends, like when I came out and got clean, everybody told me to stay away from all my old friends. Now, I dont go, Im not friends with any people that I was involved with in that kind of scene but people before then, Id be friends with now [Anna, age 22, P.III] … I kind of washed me life with that scene, not in a bad way…[OHS hostel] Id never have anything to do with again. That was just a bad place. I was put in the wrong place at the wrong time like. The system shouldnt have put me there. I was too young…I think its the worst place in the world to put anybody because if youre not corrupted, its corrupt ya, and thats just it like. [Lisa, age 20, P.III]

21 Drug Treatment Drug Treatment … that [drug treatment] was a big life saver for me because, from going out every day scoring drugs, your life is, you cant manage your life you know [Seán, age 22, P.II]. Parenthood – A sense of responsibility Parenthood – A sense of responsibility So, I hadnt used since then and then I had the baby and it was like something clicked and everything just changed [Sarah, age 26, P.III] So, I hadnt used since then and then I had the baby and it was like something clicked and everything just changed [Sarah, age 26, P.III] Mostly having the baby like shes made me life like, she made me life better like you know like. Its the thing to keep me away from drugs [Siobhan, age 27, P.III]

22 Gaining Independence Gaining Independence I think I felt... more confident in meself that I was able to do this, that I was able to run a home, that I was able to keep it clean, pay me bills, look after me daughter and not need that support. To be told by them, look were going to finish up with you know... felt good...That I didnt need people linking in all the time [Caroline, age 21, P.III] … the fact of being out of all the social services [Jacinta, age 21, P.III] I done up the apartment and then that was another sort of confidence booster that I was actually, I had somewhere I could call my own home like, you know? I know you I suppose you could call [transitional housing] your own home but it wasnt really at the end of the day because it wasnt permanent, you know, it was only temporary, it wasnt permanent [Sean, age 26, P.III]

23 Education and Employment Education and Employment All but 3 young people who had sustained exits had engaged in education/training and/or had previous experience of employment. Financial Support Financial Support Rent assistance, social welfare payments. Continued economic instability: Theres no job I can work that will allow me to earn enough to rent privately and theres no job that I can do that will allow me to earn so little without it effecting that type of stuff [Caroline, age 21, P.III]

24 Exiting/Remaining Homeless The vast majority of those who exited homelessness and sustained that exit accessed more stable accommodation within one year of first becoming homeless. The vast majority of those who exited homelessness and sustained that exit accessed more stable accommodation within one year of first becoming homeless. Those who remained homeless at the time of Phase III of the study (and those who returned to homelessness) did not move to stable accommodation at an early juncture and instead embarked on a cycle of commuting between emergency hostel accommodation (under-18s and subsequently to adult hostels). Those who remained homeless at the time of Phase III of the study (and those who returned to homelessness) did not move to stable accommodation at an early juncture and instead embarked on a cycle of commuting between emergency hostel accommodation (under-18s and subsequently to adult hostels).

25 WHEN AND WHY YOUNG PEOPLE REMAIN HOMELESS Social adaptation/acculturation accounts of prolonged homelessness: the longer people remain homeless, the more they adapt to homelessness as a way of life (Sosin et al., 1990; May, 2000; Austerwald & Eyre, 2002; Chamberlain & Johnson, 2002). Social adaptation/acculturation accounts of prolonged homelessness: the longer people remain homeless, the more they adapt to homelessness as a way of life (Sosin et al., 1990; May, 2000; Austerwald & Eyre, 2002; Chamberlain & Johnson, 2002). Focus: subsistence strategies; criminal activity; routines; identity. Focus: subsistence strategies; criminal activity; routines; identity. Peers: sense of belonging on the street. Peers: sense of belonging on the street. Become involved in a homeless subculture. Become involved in a homeless subculture.

26 The Stories of Young People who Remained Homeless There is some evidence of a process of acculturation to street scenes: see Lives in Crisis. There is some evidence of a process of acculturation to street scenes: see Lives in Crisis. Acculturation as Explanation? Acculturation as Explanation? A detailed examination of these young peoples biographical accounts and their accounts of their homeless journeys presents a more complex picture. A detailed examination of these young peoples biographical accounts and their accounts of their homeless journeys presents a more complex picture. Process of institutionalisation rather than acculturation. Process of institutionalisation rather than acculturation.

27 The Biographies of Young People who Remained Homeless State Care 5/13 had reported a history of state care 5/13 had reported a history of state care 5/13 reported a period of detention in children detention school 5/13 reported a period of detention in children detention school 8/13 had a history of either state care OR detention 8/13 had a history of either state care OR detention Me ma got cancer and she died from it so, we all got put into foster families … This is my family, other people are different … But, that was it and I went through voluntary care homes, about twelve foster homes I went through … that was eight years ago … Yeah, about twelve different houses, yeah. Then I was put in St. Michaels [Remand & Assessment] for six months when I was only twelve or something, I was locked up for most of it, most of me teenage years [Ronan, age 17, P.I]

28 The Biographies of Young People who Remained Homeless Hostels Cycle of hostel use from the time of first contact with the OHS. (Hostel 1) was the first hostel I was in. I was in there again (later) you know but in between the hostels, I was in the Out of Hours. Cos like you get fucked out and then you have to go through the Out of Hours again. So (Hostel 1) for five months and then back through the Out of Hours for a few months and then I got back into (Hostel 1) again. And I was only in there for two months that time and back through the Out of Hours again. Then after that to (Hostel 2). I was in there three times, I lived there three times and the, em, going through (Hostel 3) as well. Thats it, thats about it. And then I turned 18 and started using (adult hostel).[Paul, age 21, P.II] Entry to adult hostels. Most often depicted as a critical moment or turning point. In the words of one respondent who remained homeless, They wash their hands of us when were 18 [Luke, age 19, P.II].

29 The Biographies of Young People who Remained Homeless Incarceration 12 young people (11 male and 1 female) who remained homeless had spent time in prison at some time. 5 of them (all male) were incarcerated at the time of interview. I just, Ive been locked up an awful lot since then (P.II Interview) About 16 times since I last seen you. You know, Cloverhill, St. Pats, Mountjoy, Wheatfield. Yeah, thats it. And the Midlands one … [Fergal, age 23, P.III] … I ended up starting to slip (after period in drug treatment), went into full relapse after about four months and, eh, then I was homeless. Then I was locked up … Yeah I was in prison and eh that was really it. Now its back to square one [Christian, age 22, P.III] Its over the years being in and out you know. Its just prison now you know … [Christian, age 22, P.III]

30 Key Findings Clearly, many young people who experience homelessness as teenagers progress to stable housing and many never return to homelessness. Clearly, many young people who experience homelessness as teenagers progress to stable housing and many never return to homelessness. Facilitators to Exiting: Facilitators to Exiting: Access to housing; Access to housing; Family support; Family support; Re-engagement with education/training; Re-engagement with education/training; Disaffiliation from former street peers; Disaffiliation from former street peers; Drug treatment; Drug treatment; Employment Employment A key issue here is early access to secure housing

31 Key Findings Those young people who remained homeless had spent up to or exceeding a decade, in many cases, without a stable place to live. Those young people who remained homeless had spent up to or exceeding a decade, in many cases, without a stable place to live. During this time they had entered into many systems of intervention, including homeless services targeting youth, places of detention and adult homeless services. Many also had a history of State care. During this time they had entered into many systems of intervention, including homeless services targeting youth, places of detention and adult homeless services. Many also had a history of State care. Institutional circuit : sequential stints in a series of institutions in place of a stable living situation (Hopper, 1997; Metraux & Culhane, 2006). Institutional circuit : sequential stints in a series of institutions in place of a stable living situation (Hopper, 1997; Metraux & Culhane, 2006).

32 [And what would you like to see us do with the information that we get from young people?] Just to, just to grow a new system … New system, a lot of help there, support there. Find out what the young person wants and what he needs and give him that. Dont just fuck him out to the street. Say, Theres nothing we can do for you, and close the door in your face and its up to you then to raise yourself … Give them an option. Do you know what I mean? Dont give them like two bad roads to walk down. Ones worse but the others worser. [Fergal, age 23, P.III]


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