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More than a house: Women’s recovery from homelessness in Australia


Phipps, M and Dalton, L and Maxwell, H and Cleary, M, More than a house: Women's recovery from homelessness in Australia, Health and Social Care in The Community Online pp. 1-11. ISSN 1365-2524 (2021) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

DOI: doi:10.1111/hsc.13550


Recovery from homelessness for women is often a long, complex and highly individualised journey. This study investigated women's experiences of exiting homelessness and examined the factors that influenced recovery. The qualitative interpretive study involved auto-driven photo elicitation and in-depth interviews with 11 women who had previously been homeless. It took place in Australia between August 2018 and August 2019. Women took photographs that represented their experiences of exiting homelessness to guide discussion during interviews. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings indicate that recovery from homelessness involves more than becoming housed. Recovery from homelessness is the overarching theme being presented, described using five subthemes: Finding the right house, Making a house a home, Connection, Building confidence and Helping others. Housing was only the starting point for recovery from homelessness for women. The women drew on their own self determination to create factors necessary for recovery from the experience of homelessness. We conclude that ongoing support is necessary to empower and assist women recovering from the traumatic experiences of homelessness. Traumainformed care offers service providers a framework for supporting women who have lived through homelessness. Services can draw on this framework to provide support beyond the point of securing a house and assist women to create a home environment, build confidence in themselves and form connections to their community as they transition out of homelessness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:homelessness, housing, qualitative, recovery, self-determination, trauma, women
Research Division:Health Sciences
Research Group:Health services and systems
Research Field:Health and community services
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health inequalities
UTAS Author:Phipps, M (Mrs Monique Phipps)
UTAS Author:Dalton, L (Associate Professor Lisa Dalton)
UTAS Author:Maxwell, H (Dr Hazel Maxwell)
UTAS Author:Cleary, M (Professor Michelle Cleary)
ID Code:146115
Year Published:2021
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Health Sciences
Deposited On:2021-08-20
Last Modified:2021-11-10
Downloads:2 View Download Statistics

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