University Of Tasmania

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More than a house: Women’s recovery from homelessness in Australia

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 01:45 authored by Phipps, M, Lisa DaltonLisa Dalton, Hazel MaxwellHazel Maxwell, Cleary, M
Recovery from homelessness for women is often a long, complex and highly individualised journey. This study investigated women's experiences of exiting homelessness and examined the factors that influenced recovery. The qualitative interpretive study involved auto-driven photo elicitation and in-depth interviews with 11 women who had previously been homeless. It took place in Australia between August 2018 and August 2019. Women took photographs that represented their experiences of exiting homelessness to guide discussion during interviews. Data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings indicate that recovery from homelessness involves more than becoming housed. Recovery from homelessness is the overarching theme being presented, described using five subthemes: Finding the right house, Making a house a home, Connection, Building confidence and Helping others. Housing was only the starting point for recovery from homelessness for women. The women drew on their own self determination to create factors necessary for recovery from the experience of homelessness. We conclude that ongoing support is necessary to empower and assist women recovering from the traumatic experiences of homelessness. Traumainformed care offers service providers a framework for supporting women who have lived through homelessness. Services can draw on this framework to provide support beyond the point of securing a house and assist women to create a home environment, build confidence in themselves and form connections to their community as they transition out of homelessness.


Publication title

Health and Social Care in The Community Online






School of Health Sciences


Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© 2021 John Wiley & Sons Ltd

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Health inequalities; Mental health