The Housing First
Documenting the transition from homelessness to housing
This website is dedicated to highlighting the Photovoice research conducted by a collaboration of Housing First clients, staff, and program evaluators in Honolulu, HI. This group of individuals is committed to understanding the process of recovering from the trauma of homelessness and extreme poverty. While some of us have experienced homelessness and some of us have not, we have worked together to produce useful research that can inform policy and community education efforts.
Homelessness is primarily a housing issue... and is a consequence of economic inequality.
Importantly, we conceive of homelessness as primarily a housing issue. Lack of affordable housing creates the condition of homelessness, while certain indiviudal vulnerabilities may determine who actually becomes homeless. For example, with limited affordable housing, individuals who have certain vulnerabilities (e.g., a disability) may be more vulnerable to experiencing homelessness. Addressing the vulnerability may help that individual but does not address the overall problem of homelessness. Therefore, homelessness is not the result of individual deficiencies but is a consequence of economic inequality.
Photovoice is a useful method for examining the process of recovering from the trauma of homelessness.
Homelessness is a condition of extreme poverty that can be traumatic for individuals experiencing it. Photovoice is a useful method for examining the process of recovering from the trauma of homelessness because photos can be used to capture lived experiences that may not be easily translatable to words.
We hope this research can be used to demonstrate the trauma of homelessness and the process of recovery in an effort to inform housing interventions. Ultimately, we seek to use our work to encourage policymakers to continue efforts to increase more affordable housing stock and Housing First programs.