Local homelessness research extends as far as Europe
Research undertaken in Shrewsbury eight years ago by Professor Kate Moss and Paramjit Singh, from the University of Wolverhampton, has extended its reach as far as Europe – with findings from a further study conducted in four European countries being presented to the European Parliament and recommendations made to the European Commission in Brussels.
Kate Moss and Paramjit Singh originally looked at a small sample of women rough sleepers in Shrewsbury focusing on reviewing national, regional and local reports on homelessness, rooflessness and rough sleeping in the context of specific gender issues such as domestic abuse, substance misuse and mental health issues.
Kate said: “What we discovered is that there is a real lack of detailed statistical information specifically regarding women rough sleepers and homelessness compared to that of men. This was something that emerged in the original research carried out in Shrewsbury and helped inform our bid for further funding to extend the project across Europe.
“It really was a case of small acorns growing into great oaks. What started out as a relatively small, localised project was extended to a full body of research covering four European countries – Spain, UK, Hungary and Sweden - which has identified that homelessness for women, a sometimes vulnerable and hard to reach group, is an invisible problem in the current economic climate, the magnitude and seriousness of which is compelling.
“The results of our findings showed that there is no capacity for counting women rough sleepers and that there were actually more women than anticipated sleeping rough for a variety of reasons. Significantly it also demonstrated that in the four countries in the study, between 70-100% of women reported they became homeless as a direct result of domestic abuse, sometimes going back years. Our recommendations to the European Parliament are based around the need to introduce early interventions, to provide women-only services and to ensure that adequate funding for structural solutions is put in place.”
The findings of the research, which was funded by the European Union DAPHNE project, are documented in a new book by Kate Moss and Paramjit Singh, Women Rough Sleepers in Europe: Homelessness and Victims of Domestic Abuse published by Policy Press.
Professor Kate Moss was educated at Manchester Metropolitan University (LLB Hons), the University of Cambridge (M.Phil) and Manchester University where she gained a PhD in social policy in 1997. She has written 6 single authored books and over 60 journal articles and monographs. She has carried out research for the European Commission, the Home Office, Government Office East Midlands, Centrex, and numerous police forces and Local Authorities throughout England. Over the last four years at the University of Wolverhampton, with her colleague Paramjit Singh, she has secured in excess of 2.6 million Euros of research funding to support research into women who sleep rough as a result of domestic violence and also children rough sleepers.
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