Social Policy and Society

Themed Section on Exploring Multiple Exclusion Homelessness

Comparing Men's and Women's Experiences of Multiple Exclusion Homelessness

Graham Bowpitta1, Peter Dwyera2, Eva Sundina3 and Mark Weinsteina4

a1 School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University E-mail: graham.bowpitt@ntu.ac.uk

a2 School of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, University of Salford E-mail: p.j.dwyer@salford.ac.uk

a3 School of Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University E-mail: eva.sundin@ntu.ac.uk

a4 Graduate School of Business, Law and Social Sciences, Nottingham Trent University E-mail: mark.weinstein@ntu.ac.uk

Abstract

This article explores gender as a variable in multiple exclusion homelessness in England. Much past research has taken insufficient account of the gender of homeless people, especially the predominance of men in the single homeless population and of women heading homeless households with dependent children. Drawing on qualitative data generated in a study of multiple exclusion homelessness in London and Nottingham, the article considers three ways in which gender may act as a homelessness variable: in people's susceptibility to homelessness, in their experiences of homelessness and in their encounters with accommodation services. By comparing the accounts of homeless men and women with complex support needs with evidence from staff working for support agencies, the overall aim of the article is to offer a critical examination of the gendered assumptions of homelessness policy and practice.

(Online publication August 05 2011)