An exploration of gender differences among the homeless



Interviews were conducted with 337 homeless people in Utah. There were 266 men (79%) and 71 women (21%) with varied social networks: 76% alone, 4.7% single parents with children, 11.9% couples, and 7.4% in two-parent families. The majority of men were alone (86.9%), compared to only 35.2% of the women. The women were more likely than the men to have children (31% compared to 7%), to have had recent contact with their absent children, to express the expectation that their absent children would live with them again, and to be psychologically distressed (65.7% compared to 39%). Of the 41 with children, 61% were in two-parent families. Respondents with children tended to have been more recently homeless than those without children. The homeless are a heterogeneous population, and this must be taken into consideration when planning services.