A Qualitative Study of a Maintenance Support Program for Women at Risk of Homelessness: Part 1: Personal Factors

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Journal Article
Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 2017, 38 (6), pp. 500 - 505
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© 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. In this article, a qualitative study of homeless women and their experiences attending a Maintenance Support Programme (MSP) is discussed. The overarching theme that emerged from the study of women in the MSP was ‘A life-changing event: I have the power to change’. The article focuses on the first of the sub-themes: personal factors including: (a) health status, (b) beliefs and attitudes, (c) knowledge, and (d) life and interpersonal skills. Findings demonstrate the influence that these factors have on the capacity of homeless women to change their lives. The MSP was instrumental in supporting these women to manage personal issues, by assisting with accessing health and social services, and developing life skills and achieving life goals. Understanding the homeless women's experiences may inform the development of future programmes and services in order to support and empower them to break the cycle of homelessness and help them to lead meaningful lives within society.
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