Sociology - Homelessness

Topics: Homelessness, Homelessness in the United States, Thought Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: October 16, 2012


The operational definition concretises the four housing situations of the working definition. In order to define homelessness in an operational way, we identified three domains which constitute a home, the absence of which can be taken to delineate homelessness. Having a home can be understood as: having an adequate dwelling (or space) over which a person and his/her family can exercise exclusive possession (physical domain); being able to maintain privacy and enjoy relations (social domain) and having legal title to occupation (legal domain). Rooflessness is the most visible form of homelessness, including amongst its number rough sleepers and people who live outdoors. People with chaotic lifestyles or unsettled ways of living may be disproportionately represented among the roofless population. Houselessness refers to situations where, despite access to emergency shelter or long-term institutions, individuals may still be classed as homeless due to a lack of appropriate support aimed at facilitating social reintegration. People who are forced to live in institutions because there is inadequate accommodation in the community to meet their needs are thus regarded as homeless. In this context, homelessness refers as much to the lack of housing as it does to the lack of social networks. Living in insecure housing refers to insecure tenure or temporary accommodation and this may be a consequence of the inaccessibility of permanent housing. This classification also includes people who are involuntarily sharing housing in unreasonable circumstances and people whose security is threatened by violence or threats of violence (e.g. women at risk of domestic abuse). People living in inadequate accommodation include those whose accommodation is unfit for habitation, or is overcrowded, as well as those whose accommodation is a caravan or boat. While rooflessness and houselessness belong to the core of homelessness, the two latter...
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