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Being homeless and the use and nonuse of services: a qualitative study



Eight homeless people were interviewed about their experiences of health and social services. Three themes emerged: responsibility, identity, and feeling trapped. Although some felt they were responsible for their own situation and avoided help, most turned to formal channels for help, but professionals were often seen as offering unwanted labels and as being rule bound. In contrast, peers were considered more understanding but colluded with their problems. Participants also expressed feeling trapped within the homeless system. Therefore, by locating responsibility for change with others, they were left feeling stigmatized, but by turning to their peers, their situation remained the same. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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