An exploration of subjective wellbeing among people experiencing homelessness: a strengths-based approach

  • Thomas Y
  • Gray M
  • McGinty S
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Negative perceptions of homelessness contribute to deficit models of practice, false notions of homogeneity, and marginalization. Wellbeing is a state of satisfaction with material, social, and human aspects of life and can be measured both objectively and subjectively. The study explored the meaning and experience of wellbeing in the everyday lives of 20 homeless participants through fieldwork and interviews. This study revealed that health contributed little to their overall perception of wellbeing. Keeping safe, being positive and feeling good, connecting with others, and the ability to participate in "normal" life were the key contributors of subjective wellbeing. The authors demonstrate that social exclusion experienced in homelessness has a negative effect on subjective wellbeing. Services that provide opportunities to experience social inclusion and develop community and cultural connections will improve the wellbeing of homeless persons.

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  • Y. Thomas

  • M. A. Gray

  • S. McGinty

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