Self-managed programmes in homeless care as (reinvented) institutions

Max A. Huber, Rosalie N. Metze, Martin Stam, Tine van Regenmortel, Tineke Abma

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Purpose: Self-managed institutional homeless programmes started as an alternative to regular shelters. Using institutional theory as a lens, we aim to explore the experiences of stakeholders with the institutional aspects of a self-managed programs.
Method: The data we analysed (56 interviews, both open and semi-structured) were generated in a longitudinal participatory case-study into JES, a self-managed homeless shelter. In our analysis we went back and forth between our empirical data and theory, using a combination of systematic coding and interpretation. Participants were involved in all stages of the research.
Results: Our analysis revealed similarities between JES and regular shelters, stemming from institutional similarities. Participants shared space and facilities with sixteen people, which caused an ongoing discussion on (enforcement of) rules. Participants loathed lack of private space. However, participants experienced freedom of choice over both their own life and management of JES and structures were experienced more fluid than in regular care. Some
structures also appeared stimulated self-management.
Conclusion: Our analysis showed how an institutional context influences self-management and suggested opportunities for introducing freedom and fluidity in institutional care.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1719002
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-being
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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