Environmental Health for the Homeless? Creating Supportive Environments for Health and a Better Quality of Life

Holmes, Catherine (2006) Environmental Health for the Homeless? Creating Supportive Environments for Health and a Better Quality of Life. Environmental Health, 6 (2). pp. 40-51. ISSN 1832-3367

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Abstract

Homelessness and extreme poverty are no longer only associated with developing countries, with strong evidence to suggest worldwide growth in inequalities and poverty might be attributed to globalisation. One indicator of the consequences of globalisation is reflected in the increased visibility of the most extreme poor: the homeless. In Australia, and in many industrialised countries, responsibility for homelessness has tended to fall under community service departments, escaping the agendas of environmental health practitioners as a discrete area for action. This is despite the Australian National Environmental Health Strategy’s (enHealth Council 1999) call for environmental health justice to be integrated into government policies, programs and activities. This paper reports on the findings of a qualitative investigation into the lived experience of homelessness in Darwin, Australia.
Using participant observation and interview as principle methods of data collection, the role of trauma in the everyday lives of homeless people is explored. First, homelessness in Australia is defined and the need for this type of study on the lived experience of homelessness explained. An overview of the study and research approach is then provided. Selected key findings are summarised before turning the focus to the role of trauma and the cumulative effects of homelessness with trauma. The paper concludes with suggestions for the integration of ‘homelessness’ into the delivery of mainstream environmental health services.

Item Type: Article
Field of Research: 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111701 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health
11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111708 Health and Community Services
16 Studies in Human Society > 1601 Anthropology > 160104 Social and Cultural Anthropology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2010 01:36
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2011 02:03
URI: http://eprints.batchelor.edu.au/id/eprint/182

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