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Part 3

Homeless and community-less: an action-research

Homeless and community-less: an action-research

Gioacchino Lavanco, Floriana Romano, Carolina Messina
Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Italy.

Abstract
The major reasons and causes for homelessness as documented by many reports and studies (Main, 1998; Acosta, Toro, 2000) include: lack of affordable housing; substance abuse and lack of needed services; mental illness and lack of needed services; domestic violence; poverty, caused by many factors; prison release and re-entry into society; lack of affordable healthcare; natural disaster.

The project “La strada non è sola via” (The street is not the only way) realized one comprehensive system to manage the services for the homeless, their benefits, and their reintegration in to society. We recommend move towards a fully integrated system which would make delivering benefits and getting people off the streets more cost effective.
It has been reported that the types of assistance homeless adults felt they needed most were help finding a job, help finding affordable housing, and help paying for housing. However, the main types of assistance they usually received were clothing, transportation and help with public benefits.

Most people become homeless specifically because they are having a housing crisis, even though they may have other needs for services and increased incomes. It’s important to realize that their needs are best met once the family is in permanent housing - not while they are in transitional housing or shelters. Housing must be first if they are expected to develop a sustainable, healthy lifestyle.

Key words: homelessness, street, intervention, empowerment.
 


Author

Gioacchino Lavanco, Floriana Romano, Carolina Messina

Gioacchino Lavanco, Floriana Romano, Carolina Messina
Department of Psychology, University of Palermo, Italy.


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Keywords: homelessness, street, intervention, empowerment, community psychology, 2nd ICCP, gjcpp