On the Move: A longitudinal study of pathways in and out of homelessness

This research asks: ‘Is there a connection between how people become homeless, how long they remain homeless and how they ‘get out’ of homelessness?’ A review of the literature identified two gaps directly relevant to the issue of movement in and out of homelessness. First, why people experience homelessness for different lengths of time when they face similar structural conditions. Second, prevalence of substance use and mental illness reported in the homeless population has led some to conclude these factors cause homelessness. In addition, research has generally presumed a relationship between the amount of time a person is homeless and patterns of behavioural and cognitive adaptation to a homeless way of life. Yet recent research suggests that people’s biographies play a significant role in the duration of homelessness. How these different findings relate to each other remains unclear.