Outcomes of living in a self managed shelter

Max Huber

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Abstract

Introduction and methodology
In self-managed residential homeless care, consumers, and their peers, are in charge. Former consumers (N=24) of a self-managed homeless shelter were interviewed with qualitative structured topic-lists on the benefits they experienced. Former consumers of the program participated as co-researchers, together with students and experienced researchers. This research is part of a larger program researching self-managed residential programs.
Results
In the self-managed shelter consumers can work on their recovery towards independent living. For the respondents, the self-managed shelter is a place where they can stay for a longer period without the stress of having to look for another place and without the hassle from social workers telling them what to do and how to behave. How the former consumers used this stability and freedom differs. Some worked towards independent living on their own, others also developed skills, self-worth and new social roles (helper, friend) through participation and others used the shelter to stay free from stress and hassle. Moving on towards independent living isn’t an immediate goal for the latter, although many consumers in the end started working towards independent living.
Most of the respondents state that their live has improved when it comes to mental health, living situations and social aspects, although some respondents report issues with finances and social contacts.
Discussion
There are two main limitations to our research. Firstly, consumers who only stayed for a short while, consumers who stayed in the shelter more than a few years ago and consumer who left the program are underrepresented in our data. Secondly, a lot of the respondents deflected questions about their personal recovery (self-worth, trust, self-efficacy), because this ‘was not relevant for them’. Anecdotal evidence from peer workers and social workers and some of the respondents suggests that staying in the self-managed shelter contributes to personal recovery of consumers as well, but more research is necessary to determine how and to what extend consumers work on their personal recovery within self-managed programs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventEuropean Research Conference: homeless ans social work in Europe - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 23 Sep 2015 → …

Conference

ConferenceEuropean Research Conference
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period23/09/15 → …

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