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Re-building bridges: homeless people's views on the role of vocational and educational activities in their everyday lives

Iveson, Mandie and Cornish, Flora ORCID: 0000-0002-3404-9385 (2016) Re-building bridges: homeless people's views on the role of vocational and educational activities in their everyday lives. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 26 (3). pp. 253-267. ISSN 1052-9284

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Identification Number: 10.1002/casp.2262


Homeless people face everyday challenges of marginalisation and stigmatisation. Consequently, they can suffer from low self-confidence, self-efficacy and agency. Empirical research in Britain on educational, skill-building and meaningful activities for homeless people principally emphasises the instrumental value of training and learning as a route to employment rather than the impact of activities on homeless people's everyday lives. Theoretical literature suggests that psychosocial benefits related to the development of self-efficacy, agency and empowerment can be gained from such activities. Participants' experiences and perceptions of educational and recreational activities were examined through 29 interviews at three homeless day centres in London. Thematic analysis suggests the restorative power of engagement in activities and shows that participants value activities, not only as the foundation for future goals of finding employment and housing, but as an immediate way of restoring a sense of self and finding positive experiences with a focus on the present. The findings underline the importance of viewing these interventions from a ‘bottom-up’ perspective. The study tentatively concludes that accepting and emphasising the immediate personal benefits as a positive achievement of activities may be a valuable approach to better engage homeless clients.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Date Deposited: 21 Dec 2015 09:43
Last Modified: 05 Jun 2024 07:15

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