In the past decade in particular, research attention has shifted from an almost exclusive focus on routes or pathways into homelessness towards the investigation of exits from homelessness. As well as demonstrating the multiple paths possible for young people who become homeless, recent research, and longitudinal studies in particular, has contributed to a more nuanced understanding of the complexity of the homeless pathways of young people. Nonetheless, knowledge and understanding of the nature of homeless exits, and of the mechanisms that facilitate the transition out of homelessness, is far from complete. This paper explores the processes surrounding the exit routes taken by young people out of homelessness and the meanings attached by them to these housing transitions based on selected findings from an ongoing qualitative longitudinal study of homeless youth in Dublin, Ireland. More broadly, the paper considers the utility of distinguishing between the types of routes that young people take out of homelessness, with particular attention to the notions of ‘independent’ and ‘dependent’ exits. The paper aims to further the discussion and debate on the conceptualisation of homeless exits and also discusses a number of policy implications arising from the study's findings.
- Youth homelessness
- Exiting homelessness
- Homeless pathways
- Qualitative Longitudinal Research