Graham Bowpitt, Nottingham Trent University; Peter Dwyer, University of Salford; Eva Sundin, Nottingham Trent University and Mark Weinstein, Nottingham Trent University. November 2011
This report details findings from one of four studies commissioned in 2009 under the Economic and Social Research Council’s (ESRC) ‘Multiple Exclusion Homelessness’ programme. The particular focus of the HOME Study (HOmelessness and Multiple Exclusion) was to consider the priorities, agendas and aspirations of homeless people alongside those of the varied statutory and voluntary sector agencies which routinely come into contact with them. The overall objective was to contribute to understandings about the causes of, and solutions to, multiple exclusion homelessness (MEH) by comparing the priorities and aspirations of multiply excluded homeless people (MEHP) with those of support agencies.
Homelessness is increasingly recognised as one facet of a wider experience of social exclusion. The term ‘multiple exclusion homelessness’ (MEH) has emerged as a shorthand term to describe homeless people who suffer deep social exclusion often due to a combination of on-going issues in their lives and non-engagement with, or exclusion from, effective contact with support services. Single, multiply excluded homeless adults are the particular focus of this study. People experiencing multiple exclusion homelessness characteristically combine a current, or recent (i.e. within the last 12 months), experience of homelessness (broadly defined to include rough sleeping, living in emergency or insecure accommodation), with one or more indicators of deep social exclusion, for example, chronic ill health (mental or physical), problematic substance use (drugs or alcohol), long-term unemployment, or an institutional background (prison, armed forces or time spent in local authority care in childhood). They routinely live in poverty and regularly lack supportive close or familial relationships. Multiply excluded homeless people (MEHP) have become the focus of policies that attempt to tackle the causes of their social exclusion.