Publication Date


Document Type

Masters Thesis


School for Social Work


This qualitative study explores how service providers and homeless adult males view the influence criminalizing survival activities has on support service use. Six homeless adult males and five service providers were interviewed for the study. Participant narratives revealed the complexity and uniqueness of homeless experiences. The major findings revealed that homeless individuals do not directly acknowledge the impact criminalizing homeless survival activities has on support service use. On the other hand, service providers were not in agreement about the impact of criminalizing survival activities. While some providers felt the impact was severe, others felt it had no affect on homeless use of support services. Additionally several homeless participants said criminalizing survival activities had no impact on their use of services, but it was clear that these laws had affected other aspects of their life; particularly their mental state. A few service providers acknowledged the subtle and indirect ways criminalization has impacted their clients' use of support services. The findings implied that homeless use of support services may be indirectly, via decreased self-esteem, decreased quality of support services, and decreased ability to access familiar services, impacted by the criminalization of survival activities.


iv, 134 p. Thesis (M.S.W.)--Smith College School for Social Work, Northampton, Mass., 2007. Includes bibliographical references (leaves 117-121).