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Homelessness among Young People in Prague

Homelessness among Young People in Prague

A Narrative Analysis of Developmental Trajectories

Vágnerová, Marie Csémy, Ladislav Marek, Jakub

subjects: psychology

paperback, 226 pp., 1. edition
translation: Jones, Philip
published: september 2014
ISBN: 978-80-246-2517-1
recommended price: 345 czk

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summary

Undoubtedly, homelessness is an interesting phenomenon of today. It represents a clear social failure which can be viewed as a syndrome of a complex social failure. Everyone knows the homeless and sees them on everyday basis, but only few people know about them more than that they look neglected, drink alcohol and always sleep in various places. The reality is, however, in many respects different, primarily as concerns young people for whom the life in the street may be merely a temporary stage in their lives. The book entitled Homelessness as an Alternative Existence of Young People provides information about those who lost their background or even never had it. It is about life in the street and about what preceded it, about their attitudes to the various problems which they face, often unsuccessfully. Young homeless people are different and the stories and causes of their social downswing are also different. The description of life in the street where one loses his privacy, the possibility to satisfy his basic needs and often even self-respect shows what must be endured in order to survive. The second part of the publication is devoted to the opposite process: a return from the street to the society, and the difficulties that must be overcome in order to accomplish it. Often it is not merely about coping with one’s past stigma but also other consequences of non-standard life, such as drug addiction, criminal records or accumulated debt. The text is based on interviews with homeless people and represents and authentic picture of this social group in Prague.

table of contents

Foreword to the English edition

1. The life stories of young homeless people
1.1 Introduction
1.2 Research objectives and methods and a description of the group under examination
1.3 The life stories of young homeless people

2. The childhood and emerging adulthood of young homeless people
2.1 Family - the opinions of young homeless people regarding their home life and their childhood
2.1.1 The problems of alcoholic, violent, or mentally ill parents
2.1.2 The relationship of young homeless people to their parents
2.1.3 Problems arising as a consequence of the breakup of the original family
2.1.4 A home where the clients felt unwanted
2.1.5 Grandparents as a substitute source of security and safety
2.1.6 Foster parents or institutions
2.2 School - the opinions of young homeless people regarding their scholastic success
2.2.1 The behavioural problems of young homeless people at school age and during adolescence
2.3 Contemporaries - relationships with peers during childhood and adolescence
2.4 Summary of the childhood and adolescence of young homeless people

3. The beginnings of homelessness
3.1 The decision to sleep rough and its cause
3.1.1 Drug and alcohol addiction
3.1.2 Inability and unwillingness to work systematically
3.1.3 Inability to manage finances and indebtedness
3.1.4 Inexperience and an inability to organise life
3.1.5 Criminal activities
3.1.6 The influence of a problematic partner
3.2 Life on the street
3.2.1 Obtaining means of support
3.2.2 Accommodation and sleeping rough
3.2.3 Life on the street has its negative points
3.2.4 Positive aspects to life on the street
3.2.5 Change of values and norms
3.3 Relationships with people on the street
3.3.1 Interpersonal relationships within the framework of the homeless community
3.3.2 The opinions of homeless youth regarding friendship and partnerships
3.4 Relationships with people outside the homeless community
3.5 Young homeless people and parenthood
3.6 The mental health of young homeless people
3.6.1 Mental health disorders and young homeless people
3.6.2 The use of addictive substances among young homeless people
3.7 Leaving home to sleep rough - a summary

4. The opinion young homeless people have of themselves and their transformation
4.1 The personality of young homeless people
4.1.1 How young homeless people evaluate their own personality
4.1.2 A tendency to aggressive behaviour
4.1.3 The needs, fears and wishes of young homeless people
4.2 The transformation that takes place as a consequence of life on the street
4.2.1 Young homeless people's opinion of their own transformation
4.3 Summary of how young homeless people perceive themselves and rate their transformation

5. How young homeless people visualise their future
5.1 The requirements and barriers to returning to mainstream society -the opinion of young homeless people
5.2 Change to the social standing of young homeless people after two years
5.3 A summary of what young people think of their future and a possible return to society

Conclusion

Appendix
Bibliography
Index