'Sleeping with one eye open': a research study on how homeless women cope with living on the streets

Pinner, Dorota E. (2009) 'Sleeping with one eye open': a research study on how homeless women cope with living on the streets. BSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

[img] PDF
Restricted to Registered users only

Download (201kB)


    This small scale, primary, comparative social work research is a dissertation designed to explore a specific area of significance to social care practice, namely the experience of homelessness. It explicitly investigated how the homeless women cope with sleeping rough by taking up a question of what it means to be a woman who lives on the streets as a homeless person. The research deployed an established and relevant qualitative method of enquiry within an ethical framework. The research data was collected by conducting standarised open-ended interviews with both women and men who sleep rough, for comparison. The views of the homeless women were central to this project seeing that its main purpose is to play a small part in a constructive change of their dire circumstances and to make a contribution to the empowerment of this vulnerable minority, which is the main inspiration behind all social work research. Additionally, this research aimed to advance the author's social work development and good practice. The project was developed in recognition of gendered experiences of homelessness and is therefore based on a feminist paradigm of gender inequalities. Additionally, the famous Neil Thompson's PCS model was utilised to explain the women's homelessness on all three levels, personal, cultural and structural. The literature review examined the state of knowledge held about women and homelessness, and summarised and critically evaluated the existing work in this area. The research findings led to the conclusion that the circumstances of these women are desperate and that sleeping rough has a more acutely negative impact on their overall wellbeing and safety than that it has on men and therefore should not be allowed in our society, which is supported by claims made in the preceding literature. Furthermore, this research highlighted that the public services have not been doing enough to assist homeless women to survive on the streets and to improve their life prospects. Consequently, the main suggestion of this study is that all single homeless women should at least be provided with temporary accommodation and that there should be more women-centred services, all of which recommendations are supported by larger, previous studies into homelessness.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences and Social Work
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2011 12:48
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:15
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/712

    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...