Project

Back to overview

Exploring Homelessness and Pathways to Social Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Contexts and Challenges in Swiss and Croatian Cities

English title Exploring Homelessness and Pathways to Social Inclusion: A Comparative Study of Contexts and Challenges in Swiss and Croatian Cities
Applicant Drilling Matthias
Number 180631
Funding scheme Croatian-Swiss Research Programme (CSRP)
Research institution Institut Sozialplanung u. Stadtentwicklung Hochschule für Soziale Arbeit Fachhochschle Nordwestschweiz
Institution of higher education University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland (without UTE) - FHNW
Main discipline Social work
Start/End 01.05.2019 - 30.04.2022
Approved amount 347'633.00
Show all

All Disciplines (4)

Discipline
Social work
Social geography and ecology
Sociology
Ethnology

Keywords (6)

Obdachlosigkeit; Armut; Exklusion; Inklusion; Soziale Arbeit; Ethnographie

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Obdachlosigkeit zählt zu den Formen extremer Armut: von Obdachlosigkeit betroffene Menschen sind nicht nur durch den Ausschluss vom Wohnungsmarkt gekennzeichnet, auch der Arbeitsmarkt bietet ihnen kaum stabile Beschäftigungsmöglichkeiten, sie haben einen erschwerten Zugang zur Gesundheitsversorgung, zu Bildungseinrichtungen sowie schwache und instabile soziale Netzwerke. Das Projekt will die länderspezifischen Situationen der von Obdachlosigkeit betroffenen Menschen untersuchen, Vorstellungen des Sozialstaates zu inklusiven Strategien miteinander vergleichen und in Hinblick auf ihre Bedeutung bei den von Obdachlosigkeit betroffenen Menschen analysieren.
Lay summary
Inhalt und Ziel des Forschungsprojekts 

Obdachlosigkeit ist Ausdruck einer weitestgehenden Exklusion aus der Gesellschaft. Und laut den Fachinstitutionen nimmt Obdachlosigkeit in nahezu allen Ländern Europas zu. Gleichzeitig werden vonseiten des Staates, von Nichtregierungsorganisationen und der Zivilgesellschaft unterschiedliche Versuche unternommen, um die Situation der Betroffenen zu stabilisieren sowie Wege aus der extremen Armut zu erproben. Hierzu gehören Notfallhilfen (z.B. Notübernachtungen, Notspeisungen, Wärmebusse), Massnahmen zur Stabilisierung (z.B. Tageshäuser, mobile Beratungsdienste) bis hin zu Wohnprogrammen (z.B. housing first). 
Das Forschungsprojekt nutzt die unterschiedlichen Vorgehensweisen in Kroatien und der Schweiz, um am Beispiel von vier Städten die Bandbreite von Ursachen und Verläufen, die zu Obdachlosigkeit führen, zu erarbeiten; durch einen Vergleich der Entstehensbedingungen von Obdachlosigkeit sollen zugleich Vorstellungen herausgearbeitet werden, was in Kroatien und der Schweiz unter „inklusiven Strategien“ verstanden wird. Durch ethnographische Methoden (Mitarbeit in Organisationen, teilnehmende Beobachtungen, Begleitung der von Obdachlosigkeit betroffenen Menschen) soll ein Verständnis über die Lebenssituation bei den von Obdachlosigkeit betroffenen Menschen erarbeitet werden. 
Da das Projekt in enger Kooperation mit den Akteuren in den Städten Zagreb und Split (Kroatien) sowie Basel und Bern (Schweiz) durchgeführt wird, sollen die wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnisse länderübergreifend diskutiert werden und die Praxis bei möglichen Anpassungen ihrer Arbeitsweisen unterstützt werden. 

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext 

Obdachlosigkeit ist ein international kaum vergleichend betrachtetes Phänomen. Das Projekt versucht, über mehrere methodische Schritte Ergebnisse sowohl über das Verstehen (was Obdachlosigkeit ist) als auch über das Erklären (wie Obdachlosigkeit bekämpft werden kann) miteinander zu verknüpfen. Damit soll den staatlichen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteuren die Möglichkeit gegeben werden, von den Erfahrungen in anderen europäischen Städten Kenntnis zu erhalten, diese vor dem Hintergrund ihrer eigenen professionellen Sicht zu reflektieren und allenfalls in der eigenen Praxis zu erproben.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 12.06.2019

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Gesuchsteller/innen Ausland

Employees

Publications

Publication
Homelessness Research and Policy in Switzerland – a first country report embedded in the UN and European framework
DrillingMatthias, MühlethalerEsther, IyaduraiGosalya, DittmannJörg (2021), Homelessness Research and Policy in Switzerland – a first country report embedded in the UN and European framework, in European Journal of Homelessness , 15(1), 183-210.
Trajectories to the Coast and Islands: The Meanings of these Journeys Among People Experiencing Homelessness
Šikić-MićanovićLynette, GreinerPaula (2021), Trajectories to the Coast and Islands: The Meanings of these Journeys Among People Experiencing Homelessness, Institute of Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Zagreb.
Who else Needs Protection? Reflecting on Researcher Vulnerability in Sensitive Research
Sikic Micanovic Lynette, Stelko Stephanie, Sakic Suzana (2020), Who else Needs Protection? Reflecting on Researcher Vulnerability in Sensitive Research, in Societies, 10(1), 3-3.
Homelessness: First Country Report Switzerland
DrillingMatthias, MühlethalerEsther, IyaduraiGosalya (2020), Homelessness: First Country Report Switzerland, FHNW / HSA, Muttenz.
Lakáspolitika, szociálpolitika és hajléktalanellátás Bázelben: Szociálpolitikai reflexiók a lakhatás és hajléktalanság problémájának kezelésére
TemesvaryZsolt, DrillingMatthias (2020), Lakáspolitika, szociálpolitika és hajléktalanellátás Bázelben: Szociálpolitikai reflexiók a lakhatás és hajléktalanság problémájának kezelésére, in Hungarian Journal of Social Policy, 2(2), 28-43.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
HELP (NGO - youth & drugs) in Split Croatia (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Round table "Homelessness in Basel / Switzerland" Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Christoph Merian Foundation Basel Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
City Health International Network Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
EU-COST Action CA15218 Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Exchange of personnel
SCOPES / Swiss National Science Foundation Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
RCCG Home of Hope / NGO in Zagreb Croatia (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Postdoctoral researcher / Ivo Pilar Institute Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
City counts on Homelessness - seminar for researcher and NGO's in European Cities Slovakia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
MOST / Homeless shelter (NGO) in Split Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
International Network of Streetpapers INSP Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Croatian Network for Homeless People Croatia (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration
Department of Social Welfare in Bern Switzerland (Europe)
- Industry/business/other use-inspired collaboration

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Trinational Conference of the German, Austrian and Swiss Societies for Social Work Talk given at a conference Moments of inclusion and exclusion in homeless services and the role of social work 23.04.2021 Landshut, Germany Mühlethaler Esther; Drilling Matthias; Lyadurai Gosalya;
Association of Social Athropologists on "Responsibility" Talk given at a conference Ongoing responsibilities: Reflections after fieldwork with people experiencing homelessness 29.03.2021 St. Andrews, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Drilling Matthias; Anic Jadranka Rebeka;
Institute of Ethnology and Folklore Research Conference Talk given at a conference COVID-19 in a humanistic perspective: Mutations of fear and cultural change 28.09.2020 Zagreb, Croatia Anic Jadranka Rebeka;
3rd international multidisciplinary Mediterranean Islands Conference Talk given at a conference Trajectories to the Coast and Islands: The Meanings of these Journeys Among People Experiencing Homelessness 16.09.2020 Vis, Croatia Anic Jadranka Rebeka;
EU-COST Action "Young-In" meeting: focussing on social investment states Talk given at a conference Homelessness and youth: the role of social investment policies 19.09.2019 University of Malta, Malta Drilling Matthias;
ASA Anthropological Perspectives on Global Challenges Talk given at a conference Reflections on Power and Positionality in Research Relations with Homeless People at Different Field Sites 03.09.2019 Norwich, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Anic Jadranka Rebeka;
Dezent Wunnen - Zesumme Liewen - Habiter décemment – Vivre ensemble Talk given at a conference L’ ensemble partagé et l‘ ensemble solitaire. Comment organiser spatialement notre vivre - ensemble? 16.05.2019 European Convention Center, Luxemburg, Luxembourg Drilling Matthias;


Knowledge transfer events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Date Place Persons involved
13th National Meeting on Homelessness Workshop 09.10.2020 Karlovac, Croatia Anic Jadranka Rebeka;
Logement abordable dans la région du Rhin Supérieur Talk 25.09.2019 Freiburg i.Br., Switzerland Drilling Matthias;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Talks/events/exhibitions Betteln German-speaking Switzerland 2021
Video/Film Im Spiegel - Podiumsdiskussion anlässlich Schweizer Premiere Western Switzerland Italian-speaking Switzerland German-speaking Switzerland 2020

Abstract

Homelessness is an extreme manifestation of poverty which reduces a person’sproductive potential and leads to social exclusion (European Commission 2013: 5). Ashomelessness has been forecasted to be on the increase throughout Europe(Serme-Morin 2017), FEANTSA, the European Federation of National Organisationsworking with the Homeless reports that these alarming trends require immediateaction as European countries are facing a homelessness and a housing exclusion“crisis” (FEANTSA et al. 2017). However, very little data is available on homelessness:both on the number of homeless people in Europe and about homeless people’s dailyexperiences and coping strategies. This makes strategies of inclusion insecure andrecommendations for their change unstable. To fill the gap in quantitative perspectives,the EU funded the COST Action CA15218 “Measuring homelessness in Europe”(2016-2020) in which the main applicants of this proposal represent their countries asManagement Members.The proposed qualitative study seeks to break new ground in social research onhomelessness by delivering a better understanding of the dimensions and impact ofexclusion on people who are homeless in cities of Switzerland and Croatia. Thiscomparative approach is of relevance because homelessness as a social phenomenonand as a manifestation of poverty takes different forms depending on economic,political, legislative and social factors in a given social system and context. For thisreason, inclusive strategies need to be developed in a contextually-sensitive frameworkand based on scientific knowledge and reflection. Concepts of social inclusion andexclusion are closely related (Hayes et al., 2008) and social exclusion and inclusion canbe seen as two ends of a single dimension wherein homelessness has been identified asthe most extreme manifestation of social exclusion (Pleace, 1998). Thus, we suggest todiscuss social inclusion within the theoretical frame of social exclusion. We willcompare contexts of homelessness and challenges as well as situations of exclusionsand inclusions by using the ETHOS definition of homelessness and its typology thatranges from rooflessness to inadequate housing situations (Edgar et al. 2007; Edgar2012).The main aims of the research are:(1) To generate a new and emic perspective on homelessness, and to generate theorythat is grounded in the realities of the participants’ daily life experiences based onhomeless people’s “voices”.(2) To work out a differentiated landscape of inclusion strategies for professionals inthe services for homeless people as well as for local authorities, NGOs, faith-basedsocial services, communities and the state.(3) To bring actors/responsible persons/researchers (young/senior) from Croatia andSwitzerland together for cooperation and collaboration and connect them to a widerEuropean network of scientists working on homelessness.To reveal multi-faceted social and cultural contexts, the study is designed as anethnographic study based on direct observation via fieldwork and grounded inempirical research involving direct contact with relevant people and places in the four cities Zagreb, Split, Basel and Bern. Our project starts exploring homelessness byusing qualitative methods (participant observation, interviewing, reflexivity) payingparticular attention to the lived experiences of homelessness. We intend to conductinterviews with homeless people in two waves and interviews with servicerepresentatives and other relevant actors in each city. Field notes and a research diarywritten by each researcher will reflect experiences as well as foreground stereotypes ofhomelessness and will be the basis for debates during the research team meetingsevery six months. Thus, the main focus of this study is to understand homelesspeople’s everyday lives from their perspectives; exploring their experiences ofhomelessness, vulnerability, and identities in the context of different legal and policyregimes in both countries. We will closely rely on these first-hand experiences because“without the voices of those impacted by homelessness, there is a risk that importantunderstandings essential to the development of effective solutions to homelessness willremain obscured” (Norman & Pauly 2013: 136). We use grounded theory as an optimalstrategy of social research in this study because it will primarily involve qualitative,exploratory, small-scale research that studies human interaction paying particularattention to research participants’ points of view.In an engaging and participatory way, this project works collaboratively with homelesspeople and other relevant social actors to advance human understanding and tocontribute constructively to local needs and concerns as well as to bring about changein social policies. We are supported by actors in all cities including NGOs,administration and services for homeless people. Thiswill enable us to reflect on experiences and discuss preliminary results with theseprofessional communities and policymakers during the whole research process. Foracademic debates, we will use our COST-Network that brings together almost 50international researchers in the field of homelessness. The findings of our study will beused to propose recommendations for actions and to develop inclusive strategies fordealing with homelessness in each country.
-