Characteristics and Dynamics of Homeless Families with Children. Situational Variables


  1. Precipitating factor
    1. Natural disaster or condemned housing
    2. Eviction by landlord or by foreclosure for lack of payment
    3. Immediate post-hospitalization loss of housing
    4. Immediate post-release from jail inability to find housing
    5. Loss of job
    6. Gradually increasing financial distress
    7. In and out of homelessness with short turnaround (less than a month)
    8. Moving to another town (state, country) and cannot find housing
    9. Evicted by parent or mate
    10. Physical or emotional battering by parent or mate
    11. “I cannot stand that home environment”
    12. Evicted for using drugs or being drunk
    13. Other
  2. Current homeless situation
    1. Doubled-up with friend or family
    2. Supported or transitional housing
    3. Referred domicile (e.g. paid hotel room)
    4. Family shelter
    5. Individual shelter
    6. Own car
    7. Squatting
    8. The street or equivalent (e.g. airport, etc)
  3. Time limits of domicile
    1. Number of days, weeks or months allowed
    2. Number of hours per day allowed
  4. Relations with domiciliary setting
    1. Supportive
    2. Neutral
    3. Tense, conflicted
    4. About to be evicted
  5. Reaction to homelessness
    1. Early crisis reaction
    2. Early adaptation reaction
    3. Short term efforts to regain a home
    4. Long term efforts to regain a home
    5. Resigned to homelessness, not trying, but not adapted
    6. Adapted to long term homelessness
  6. Parents’ general stress and coping with obligations of daily living
    1. Low stress, high coping
    2. Low stress, low coping.
    3. High stress, high coping
    4. High stress, low coping
  7. Parenting stress and coping
    1. Same categorization as in 5)
  8. Work situation of parent or older youth during current homelessness
    1. Work full time (satisfied with work or not)
    2. Work part-time
    3. Occasional work
    4. Looking for work
    5. Has given up looking for work
  9. Work situation of parent or older youth before current homelessness
    1. Employed or otherwise worked
    2. Failed welfare to work transition
    3. Had never worked
  10. Non-work income situation of parent or older youth during current homelessness
    1. General welfare
    2. SSI
    3. SS (retired or disabled worker)
    4. Other (e.g., private pension, VA, etc)
    5. Underground economy
    6. No source of income
  11. Informal social support (family, friends, other homeless)
    1. Quality of support: supportive, neutral or negative
    2. Reliability of support: steady, intermittent, unreliable
    3. Perception of support: perceived as meeting or not meeting needs

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