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Home vs. "Hard to House" Goetz, Judith Teresa 2009

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Home vs. “Hard to House” by JUDITH TERESA GOETZ Dipl. soz.arb., Universität Siegen, 2005 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Family Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) October 2009 © Judith Teresa Goetz, 2009 ii Abstract The literature suggests that there is an existing mismatch between service providers that supply housing and the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized homeless population, the “hard to house”. This specific population faces complex problematic characteristics like substance use, physical and mental health concerns, particular behaviours (e.g. collecting, aggressiveness), visual appearance, lack of social skills, childhood trauma, working in the sex trade, and so on which leaves them in a constant state of absolute or relative homelessness. To gain a better understanding of their needs, the meaning and creation of home for this population is the focus of this research project. The two main research questions are: What is the meaning of home for those labelled "hard to house"? And how is it created? To answer these questions eight residents at a housing project within Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside have been interviewed, using a naturalistic qualitative research approach. Three emergent themes have been identified: 1) self care, 2) divided neighbourhood, and 3) young adulthood. The themes are discussed by applying Vaclav Havel’s definition of home and integrating Erving Goffman’s theory on interaction rituals, exclusively focusing on two essays “On Face Work” and “The Nature of Deference and Demeanor”. iii Table of Contents Abstract............................................................................................................................ ii Table of Contents............................................................................................................ iii List of Tables ...................................................................................................................v Acknowledgements.........................................................................................................vi Dedications .................................................................................................................... vii Introduction ..................................................................................................................... 1 The “Hard to House” ....................................................................................................... 4 Home and the “Hard to House” – Academic Literature ................................................... 7 Historical overview....................................................................................................... 7 Approaching home ...................................................................................................... 9 Goffman – “On Face Work” and “Deference and Demeanor” .....................................17 Current Study.................................................................................................................20 The project and the neighbourhood............................................................................20 Methodological approach............................................................................................22 Sample .......................................................................................................................23 Data collection ............................................................................................................23 Data analysis ..............................................................................................................25 Validity and reliability ..................................................................................................25 Findings .........................................................................................................................27 Profile of the participants ............................................................................................27 The emergent themes.................................................................................................28 Impact of the value that is assigned to the new housing situation on performing self care, mental health and occupation.........................................................................29 One neighbourhood, two opposing parts - location and community ........................35 Age – young adults and their special needs............................................................38 Discussion .....................................................................................................................42 Self care .....................................................................................................................42 Divided neighbourhood...............................................................................................46 Young adulthood ........................................................................................................48 Back to home..............................................................................................................50 iv Practical applications..................................................................................................51 Limitations and future research ..................................................................................53 Conclusion .....................................................................................................................55 Bibliography ...................................................................................................................57 Appendix........................................................................................................................61 Appendix A .................................................................................................................61 Appendix B .................................................................................................................64 vList of Tables Table 1 Overview of participants…….…………………………………….....……….27 Table 2 “What is home for you?”............................................................................28 vi Acknowledgements I want to thank Dr. Nathanael Lauster for his guidance and support throughout the process of writing this thesis. I especially appreciate his patience with me and his valuable insights into the research topic. I also want to thank all the participants as well as all the workers at the housing project that made the research project happen. Special thanks go out to my family, friends, coworkers and fellow students for supporting me throughout these times. vii Dedications To Katy Thomson 1Introduction According to the Government of Canada homelessness can be defined as follows: “Canada does not have an official definition of homelessness. However, for the purpose of the Government of Canada’s National Homelessness Initiative (NHI), homelessness is considered to be any person, family or household that has no fixed address. The goal of the National Homelessness Initiative is to lessen the hardship of being homeless while contributing to the prevention and reduction of homelessness in Canada. However, it is recognised that homeless people represent a diverse group – some requiring a wide range of supports and others requiring specific assistance or no assistance at all.” - National Secretariat on Homelessness Official (nsh-snsa@hrdc-drhc.gc.ca) Canada’s definition of homelessness anchors its working approach in defining homelessness according to the absence of permanent housing. Most theories that surround the issue of homelessness highlight the role of housing. While a shortage of affordable housing is seen as one major cause of homelessness, the provision of housing is often treated as the initial solution to it (Sewell, 1994; Neale, 1997; Erikson, 1994; Kraus, 2001). Providing housing involves engaging people with the collective machinery of several agencies and organisations. Different agencies and organisations advocate and practice different pathways - all having the same final goal: getting people into stable, long-term housing that they are able to maintain. This seems to be the biggest challenge for the most marginalized of the homeless population. Individuals of this population often carry several diagnoses, have long histories of homelessness, have physical health concerns, are actively using, etc. The complexity of issues these individuals are facing often create problems with service providers, resulting in eviction or rejection from housing projects that eventually leaves them with the label “hard to 2house” (Gurstein & Small, 2005). The most vulnerable and most in need individuals of the homeless population seem to be the biggest challenge for service providers, agencies and organisations which leaves them in a constant state of absolute homelessness or at risk of being homeless. Being caught up in this reality shapes the experiences of the “hard to house” population. Looking back at the initial definition of homelessness, the formulated working goal is to lessen the hardship of homelessness by recognizing the diverse homeless population that needs different levels of support and assistance. At this point it can be identified that the needs for this specific population are not met and so problems with housing agencies and organizations arise. Gurstein & Small (2005) describe the problem as follows: “When people acquire shelter from a community agency responsible for providing housing, their narrative agendas collide. For the agency representative, the housing professional or manager, they are providing a safe, affordable housing unit. For the tenant, they are attempting to construct a home. These competing narratives bring conflict between the housing provider who attempts to be practical and objective, and the tenant who operates from within a different semantic landscape.” (p. 731) To solve this mismatch it is necessary to gain an insight in the reality and experience of the “hard to house” population. In recent research the experience of being homeless has been assessed in regard to the concept of home (Kelett & Moore, 2003; Robertson, 2007; Peled & Muzicant, 2008; Hill, 1991). The importance of the concept of home comes from the understanding that the hardship of homelessness can be grasped by understanding the meaning and creation of home for the homeless population. Getting an insight in the concept of home for the homeless population, helps to develop appropriate responses. Within that context the research questions that arise are: What is the meaning of home for those labelled "hard to 3house"? And how is it created? To evaluate the meaning and creation of home for that specific homeless population might lead to a solution of the underlying problem: the concepts of housing services do not match up with the needs of this specific population. It further can contribute in several ways: it can help to fight homelessness; it can prevent further problems with service providers; and it can help to fight the negative label of being deemed as “hard to house”. 4The “Hard to House” Swirling through the literature no official definition of the category “hard to house” can be found (Popkin et. al., 2005). However, within the little existing literature, the “hard to house” most broadly can be defined as a population that carries a combination of problematic characteristics and therefore are unable to find or maintain secure housing (Gurstein et. al. 2005, Popkin et. al., 2005, O’Dea, 1999). This basic definition has been used in looking at two different units of analysis. One group of scholars refers to entire households when they talk about the “hard to house” population. These households show housing needs that go beyond the core housing measure assessing appropriate housing conditions due to affordability, suitability and adequacy. They focus on families that show personal or family circumstances that make them difficult to house. This population requires additional services or alternative housing models to access or maintain secure housing (Popkin et. al., 2005). Examples for personal or family circumstances that can become problematic that have been defined by Popkin et. al. (2005) are: multiple-barrier households, disabled households, elderly households, “Grandfamilies”, large households, and households with one strike problems. On the other side scholars focus on individuals that have to face multiple challenges (Gurstein & Small, 2005). The complexity and combination of problems deems individuals with the label “hard to house”. Common problems that can be listed are: history of homelessness, substance use, physical as well as mental illnesses and disabilities, particular behaviours (e.g. collecting, aggressiveness), visual appearance, lack of social skills, childhood trauma, working in the sex trade, etc (O’Dea, 1999, 5Gurstein & Small, 2005). The mixture of these characteristics creates a problem that goes far beyond access to affordable housing. Even though access to affordable housing is considered to be a corner stone of care it is often not enough (Kraus, 2001). To sufficiently meet the needs of that population, which seems to be the biggest challenge, support services have to be accessible. Support services are needed to assist this population in two ways: find housing and maintain housing. Most individuals within this group have a long history of homelessness. They often alternate between absolute homelessness while living on the streets, in emergency shelters or hostels and relative homelessness living in single room occupancies (SRO) and rooming houses repeatedly experiencing eviction, which leaves them with the constant risk of being homeless. The research project will follow this understanding when referring to the “hard to house” population. Choosing this unit of analysis and focusing exclusively on individuals can be simply justified by the frame of this research project. It has to be recognized that this research project is part of a Masters program and including entire households or families would go beyond the scoop of this project. The term “hard to house” is used for individuals and households already facing a spectrum of problems and are therefore at risk of accessing or maintaining housing. Using the term “hard to house” to refer to an already vulnerable and marginalized populations adds another negative quality to a difficult overall situation. It can be said that the label promotes further stigma which leads to additional marginalization. Besides that referring to someone as “hard to house” can be perceived as offensive or even insulting. It has to be recognized that the label is problematic and has to be rethought. 6Leaving the realm of academia two variations of the label “hard to house” can be found. While the media is often referring to the “hardest to house” (see for example http://www.vancouversun.com/news/story.html?id=1148114) to sketch an even more drastic situation, the term “hard on housing” is being used by a more sensitive community, working with this specific population. The term “hard on housing” evolved out of a play on words and opens up a different perspective on the relationship between the housing provider and the individual. The term “hard on housing” relocates the focus away from the individual and onto the housing provider. That implies that the responsibility moves away from the individual and onto the housing provider. However, none of the above labels seem to be appropriate to grasp the uniqueness of each living situation. Furthermore, this research project is not meant to create blame or stigma for either the individual or the housing provider. Analysing the meaning and creation of home for this specific population can contribute towards a mutual understanding and help to prevent further problems to occur. This eventually leads to solving the problem that makes any kind of label unnecessary. 7Home and the “Hard to House” – Academic Literature Various academic disciplines like sociology, anthropology, geography, philosophy, psychology and architecture show interest in the concept of home. Every discipline approaches home from a different angle and focuses on important aspects of home, which makes it hard to come to an overall inclusive definition of home. Using Rybczynski’s idea, “understanding [home] is like trying to describe an onion. It appears simple on the outside, but it is deceptive, for it has many layers. If it is cut apart, there are just onion skins left and the original form has disappeared. If each layer is described separately, we lose sight of the whole. The layers are transparent so that when we look at the whole onion we see not just the surface but also something of the interior.” (Rybczynski, 1986, p. 230) Historical overview To move towards a better understanding of all the aspects or layers that have been fused with the concept of home, it is important to take a look at its development over time. The concept of home has deep roots and can be almost described as instinctive. Going back all the way to the nomadic lifestyle, strong spiritual ties to the land can be found (Leaky & Levin, 1992). Within the western society these ties got more and more bound to a specific location with the emergence of the agrarian society. The cultivation of the land bound people to more permanent villages and settlements (Stanyer, 1974). One-room-houses developed that served multiple functions. Work space and living space intersected and the concept of privacy was unknown. The household often included a multigenerational family and staff, all sharing the same living space. Furniture and belongings were limited and mostly served functional purposes 8(Ward, 1999; Stanyer, 1974). This way of living began to change with the industrial revolution in the 17th century. Work started to be located outside the house and slowly a dichotomy between a private and public space, family and society, masculinity and femininity arose (Rybczynski, 1986; Bondi, 1992). During this time of polarisation the middle class started to distinguish themselves from other classes, cherishing cults like romantic love, devoted parenting and creating good homes (Frykman & Löfgren, 1987). Also, the “leading classes promote a form of nationalism and patriotism aimed at protecting and preserving their land, wealth and power.” (Mallett, 2004, p. 65) That led to major changes for the concept of home. The concept of home got fused with these two sets of moralities, the concept of the homeland speaking of nationalism and patriotism as well as the concept of domestic moralities like the middle class family cults. The English case law strengthened this notion. A quote of Judge Sir Edward Coke was shortened into a famous saying that is around until today. The Englishmen’s house is his castle! “This phrase was popularly appropriate to define and describe home as a haven which comprises both house and surrounding land.” (Mallett, p. 65) The moralities that have been attached to the concept of home have been clearly located into the house. This strong connection can be described as the fundamental problem between housing providers and the “hard to house” population. Due to complex challenges this population faces, behaviours are shown that do not match up with the rules, philosophies and morals that the housing providers expect from their clients. The label “hard to house” is created by the housing providers to excuse the existing conflict. However, the mismatch leaves this population in a constant state of homelessness. 9After all, this phenomenon is named homelessness, not houselessness or rooflessness which implies that there is more to the concept of homelessness than just the absence of a house. This leads back to the development of the meaning of home and further changes that have to be described. Since the industrial revolution the physical layout of the house also changed. This is closely linked to technological inventions of the central heating system as well as domestic lighting. (Ward, 1999) Homes became more comfortable and personalized. The one-room houses changed into a house with several rooms that have specific functions. Family members no longer needed to gather around a central heat and light source. They had the option to retire to other rooms in the house and a sense of privacy started to develop. Due to the evolution of the home a more refined focus on how the individual's sense of self developed emerged (Relph, 1986). The ability to store and present personal objects became an important function of the home that is linked to personal development as well as privacy (Csikszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton, 1981). All these aspects of identity development, privacy, kin relationships and special possessions became merged with the concept of home. Up until today all the emergent themes impact the meaning of home. They build the basis for emerging research approaches on the meaning of home. Approaching home The development of the complex concept of home provides many opportunities for researchers within different disciplines to approach aspects of home. Most researchers understand home as a multidimensional concept. However, “researchers 10 generally limit their analyses to particular dimensions of home – typically those aspects that routinely fall within their own disciplinary orbit.” (Mallett, 2004, p. 64) In the following paragraphs different approaches towards home are introduced and linked back to the “hard to house” population. There is only a limited amount of academic literature that directly addresses the “hard to house” population. However, the “hard to house” population is hidden as a subset of the general homeless population and aspects of their experience can be drawn from that literature. The territorial approach of home focuses on boundaries of home as well as boundaries of the individual. The focus is set on aspects of security, control and privacy. Allan and Crow (1989) look at home “as a place in which the members of a family can live in private, away from the scrutiny of others and exercise control over outsiders’ involvement in domestic affairs.” (1989: 4) Control is exercised not only over insiders and outsiders of the home but also over household routines and décor. Ward (1999) even goes further into the boundaries of the home and analyses the development of privacy along structural changes within and outside of the house. He introduces the idea of a front- and a backstage area within the house. Boundaries are drawn that separate the public and the private spaces within the home. Rooms like the family room, the dining room and the kitchen provide front stage areas within the dwelling while rooms like the bedroom and the bathroom serve as the backstage area. A front stage area is used for presentational purposes while the backstage area is not commonly accessible to the general public. Ward also analyses the setting of the house and its outside. He highlights fences and hedges as visible boundaries that mark territories. While Ward is analysing the physical layout Sebba & Chruchman (1983) set their focus on territorial 11 patterns, behaviours and attitudes within the physical space. They found that “physical characteristics of the dwelling unit related to control were the size of the shared area and the quality of the boundaries of the individual and shared areas.” (p. 191) The “hard to house” population is in a constant state of absolute homelessness or at risk of losing their housing. Living on the streets, in shelters or SROs makes it hard to establish the necessary physical or personal boundaries for feelings of security, control and privacy to develop. Russel et. al. (2005) provide evidence that for the homeless and “hard to house” population, stability, privacy and a sense of pride are important key factors that impact the quality of life. These concepts are directly related to permanent shelter or housing which is considered a basic need and therefore tangible influence on the quality of life for the “hard to house” population. The less intangible influences directly relate to the concept of home as it is introduced in this section. The social psychology approach highlights aspects of social activity within the home. Crucial for this approach are kinship relations within the home. Home can only become a home when the dwelling is fused with a family. Mallett (2004) points out, that home generally represents the family as well as the family dwelling. In this sense it often refers to the house or dwelling a child grows up in. Home is understood as family relations embedded in a physical environment that connects to the childhood of a person. Bowlby (1997) extends the understanding to home including non-family households. According to him family relations aren’t necessary important. The essential component of a home is that children are or will be nurtured within the place. The meaning of home in regard to family and childrearing is found in Peled & Muzicant (2008) research project The meaning of home for runaway girls. Running away from 12 home as a teenager can be considered as a starting point of a homelessness career. The findings at that early stage of development are that home in the sense of a place where the family lives and a place they grew up in still exists and is considered important in the lives of the girls even though their feelings to the family home are contradictive. On the one side the girls run away from home while on the other side they still have strong ties that draw them back. The meaning of home in combination with family and child rearing has not been researched directly for the adult homeless and “hard to house” population. However, the importance of this approach can still be found when it comes to homelessness. For example, the Vancouver Homelessness Count (2008) integrates this understanding of home which is combined with family and child rearing in two questions. One question explores the company of the homeless population, while the other question generally assesses where home is. The second question of “Where do you call home?” is trying to measure where a person was born or last had permanent housing. This fact highlights the importance of this approach for the homelessness population. Further research should be done using this approach with a more general homeless population. The psychoanalytic approach is concerned about home in relation to self expression and self reflection. Cskiszentmihalyi & Rochberg-Halton (1981) define home as a “world in which a person can create a material environment that embodies what he or she considers significant. In this sense, the home becomes the most powerful sign of the self of the inhabitant that dwells within.” (p. 123) In this sense home becomes the storehouse of things, which shelters the most valuable objects that make life meaningful. These strong connections between home and identity are also stressed in 13 Clare Cooper’s (1976) article The House as Symbol of the Self and Aviezer Tucker (1994) article In search of home. Edward Relph (1986) also based identity within his definition of home. For him “home is the foundation of our identity as individuals and as members of a community, the dwelling-place of being. Home is not just the house you happen to live in, it is not something that can be anywhere, that can be exchanged, but an irreplaceable center of significance.” (p. 39) The “hard to house” population faces a long history of homelessness due to histories of eviction and rejection from housing. Hill (1991) compares the homeless population to a nomadic society. The accumulation of material wealth can be seen as difficult due to problems with storage and protection. The belongings homeless individuals generally posses are few, lightweight, made from locally available materials and multipurpose. Some of the most valued possessions are tools. Tools are multipurpose and support the foraging mode of production. Other objects that have been defined special are sacred objects like places and times. These objects are special since they are not easily stolen, lost, or destroyed and have meanings beyond their functional properties. The permanence of times and places fulfil the function of a foundation around which identity can be centred. Existing research on identity work among homeless individuals focus on identity talk (Snow et. al.,1987) and distancing from the current situation and homeless population (Boydell et. al., 2000) while the concept of home is not directly addressed. The philosophical phenomenological approach extends the meaning of home towards an abstract level. Home is often defined as a “safe haven”. (Mallett, 2004) It implies ideas of relief or retreat that arise out of experience through memories, thoughts, relationships combined with aspects of permanence (Peled & Muzicant, 14 2008). Somerville (1992) and Gurney (1997) even go so far that they disconnect home from experience and move it to a cognitive level. They therefore argue that home is socially constructed. The concept of home exists within every individual. Even individuals that never experienced certain aspects of home or a home in general can understand what the concept of home is about. “Home is not just a matter of feelings and lived experience but also of cognition and intellectual construction: people may have a sense of home even though they have no experience or memory of it.” (Somerville, 1992, p. 530) This construct of home can be assessed within the concept of the opposing terms of the real home on one side and the ideal home on the other side (Tucker, 1994). Only by having this idea of an ideal home it can be found that the concept of home can also be treated as an ideological construct that exists within the western society. Within the homelessness literature Robertson (2007) as well as Peled & Muzicant (2008) find that the meaning of home is connected to its absence on their research on the meaning of home for women and run away girls. Home can be described as a symbol of distance from their current world or situation. It is found that the concept of home continues to exist and plays an important role in their life. Home is also approached from a social cultural viewpoint. Within this approach the home can be described as a mirror of society. It reflects social values and orders, status symbols and political movements (Saunders & Williams, 1988; Cskiszentmihalyi &Rochberg-Halton, 1981; Moore, 2000). At the same time home is the place where all those aspects become internalized within every individual. There is a reinforcing connection between creation and reflection. Kellett & Moore (2002) explore the meaning of home and the process of homemaking by looking at two different sets of marginalized 15 populations: homeless young people in London and Dublin and informal dwellers in Colombia. The researchers highlight that in both groups “the absence of home reflects a position of relative exclusion, and consequently the striving for a home could be critical to redefining a place in society and establishing a sense of belonging.” (Kelett & Moore, 2002, p. 137) Home is seen as a way back into society. Taking a closer look at the young homeless individuals in London and Dublin engaging in homemaking behaviours is connected with developing a sense of independence and control. Home is also approached from various other angles. Meaning to the concept of home had been given by looking at opposing concepts. Home has been analysed in regard to home and away, home and journeying or home and homelessness (Case, 1996; Kellett & Moore, 2003; Ginsburg, 1999). The definition of home is also assessed in terms of an active process. Terms that are being used are: being-at-home, creating or making home and even doing home (Bowlby, 1997). Keeping all those different approaches in mind, a few theories on home arose. In 1975 Hayward drew up the first multidimensional list of aspects that contribute to the concept of home. He listed “home as physical structure; home as territory; home as locus in space; home as self and self identity, and home as a social and cultural unit.” (Moore, 2000, p. 210) Throughout the time different approaches on the concept of home have been the focus of attention. In 1986 Sixsmith developed a model of home containing three modes: the “personal home”, the “social home”, and the “physical home”. These three modes include 20 categories of interdependent meanings attached o the concept of home like: happiness, belonging, responsibility, self-expression, critical experiences, permanence, privacy, time perspective, meaningful places, knowledge and 16 preference to return to the same place, type and quality of relationships, friends and entertainment, and the emotional environment, experiences of physical structures, the extent of services, architectural style, work environment, and spatiality (Sixsmith, 1986, p. 287). In 1992 Vaclav Havel came up with the most holistic approach on home that combines the approaches. Havel centers the idea of home as a set of concentric circles on several levels around a person. Home is understood “as an existential experience that can be compared to a set of concentric circles on various levels, from the house, the village or town, the family, the social environment, the professional environment, to the nation including culture and language (Czech or Slovak), the civic society (Czechoslovak), the civilisation (European), and the world (civilisation and universe).” (Tucker, 1994, p. 182) What is important to mention is that for Havel all circles are equally important. The experience of home cannot freely unfold if there is a missing circle or a circle is being denied. Havel argues that it is important for each individual to connect to each circle. All circles integrate themselves within each individual’s identity and all circles have to be accessible for all parts of the identity to unfold. Thinking about Havel’s (1992) idea of home as a set of concentric circles leads back to the analogy used by Rybczynski (1986) that has been cited at the beginning: understanding home as an onion. Havel’s way of defining home includes all major elements of the approaches listed above. The individual builds the center which is surrounded by a physical and social environment; a socio spatial system (Saunders & Williams, 1988). Within these two environments several circles exist that relate back to the different approaches. Circles within the physical environment vary from possessions to country while in the social environment the circles range from family to culture. The 17 interaction and connection between each circle and the individual is the key for the concept of home. The interplay between each circle and the individual becomes transparent in the meaning that is assigned to each circle. A question that arises at this point is how the connection between each circle and a person looks like. One way of approaching this connection is through analysing interactions. Havel’s expanding circles can be considered within the context of the interactions that anchor them to lived experiences. To gain a better understanding of this concept I want to introduce Erving Goffman. Goffman – “On Face Work” and “Deference and Demeanor” To better understand the meaning making process between the self and the circles I want to introduce Erving Goffman (1963) and his theory that he presents in his book “Interaction Rituals”. I want to focus exclusively on two essays “On Face Work” and “The Nature of Deference and Demeanor”. Within these two essays Goffman describes interactional patterns built on his dramaturgical perspective. In his essay on face work Goffman stresses how people negotiate face in every day interactions. He defines face as an image of self that is presented and connected to approved social attributes. Faces are produced through “the flow of events in the encounter and becomes manifested only when these events are read and interpreted for the appraisal expressed in them.” (p. 7) Within each interaction an individual acts out a line. A line is a pattern of verbal (language) and non-verbal (gestures) acts that portray a version of the situation, others, and self. Goffman calls an action of taking a specific line that is consistent with the presented face, face work. Maintaining face is 18 described as a positive feeling because of emotional attachments that an individual has to each face. Losing face on the other hand can lead to a bad feeling because the individual “had relied on the encounter to support an image of self which he has become emotionally attached and which he now finds threatened.” (p. 8) The self becomes a central role within the interaction. Goffman points out that he uses self in two different senses. He defines self as (1) an image, the face that is produced as by the reception and responses of others and (2) the individual that participates as “a player in a ritual game.” (p. 31) In the essay on “Deference and Demeanor” Goffman states that interaction within society are governed by the rules of conduct. Rules impinge onto the individual in two different ways: directly as obligation and indirectly as expectations. The interplay between this can be transferred to the two concepts of demeanor and deference presented by the individuals. Goffman defines deference as the act of appreciation. Deference does not need to be given between two individuals it can also be between two objects. Goffman describes this act as a way “in which an actor celebrates and confirms the relationship to a recipient.” (p. 57) Deference can take on two main forms: avoidance rituals and presentational rituals. An avoidance ritual is a scenario where an individual purposely distances themselves from the situation to avoid any violations. Presentational rituals on the other hand describes the opposing action. It is a direct interaction where the individual will state opinions and views on the other person. Acts of deference go along with acts of demeanor. Goffman highlights three defining key elements of demeanor: deportment, dress and bearing. These elements are used to support the individual’s ceremonial behaviours and express admirable qualities. Further 19 the interplay between demeanor and deference is described in several situations and contexts. Within these two essays Goffman shows how individuals go about establishing, maintaining and preserving identities through interaction rituals. Interactions are described between individuals, places and objects which can be compared to the different circles introduced earlier. The complementary relationship that I want to highlight here is between Havel and Goffman. In short, Havel defines home as a set of concentric circles centered around a person. Goffman fills this definition by explaining how the individual connects to each circle through interaction rituals. It can be found that there is a similarity between the way individuals go about establishing identity and the way individuals go about establishing home. Goffman states the following “An environment, then, in terms of the ceremonial component of activity, is a place where it is easy or difficult to play the ritual game of having a self.” (p. 91) Creating a home seems to involve constructing an environment which helps to preserve one’s identity. Homes structure interactions, preserve the ability to avoid situations (avoidance rituals) and serve as a stage for wanting to impress or please (presentational rituals). Following this understanding the overall research questions can be summarized to: What is the meaning of home for those labelled "hard to house"? And how is it created? 20 Current Study All research is perhaps inseparable from the researcher’s life-history, their emotions and their drive to make sense of their own world (e.g. Coffey, 1999; Ellis, 1995). This study is no exception. Many questions around home and housing were raised while I was working with two different homeless populations over the course of the last two and a half years. My work history includes two different low-barrier shelter projects. One shelter is located in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside and serves mostly individuals that are dually diagnosed while the second shelter was a temporary facility that was accessed predominantly by a young homeless population. To answer some of my raised questions I chose to direct my research towards understanding more of the concept of home. My working knowledge and experience has been helpful and integrated into this study. The project and the neighbourhood The housing project where the research was conducted is located in the heart of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES). To briefly introduce the neighbourhood is important for further understanding of this study. The DTES is famous for being Canada’s poorest neighbourhood. The area is Vancouver oldest part of town, located east of the city center and includes approximately 16000 residents (City of Vancouver, 2005/2006). About one century ago the DTES was Vancouver’s city center. During the 1960s the center of the city moved more and more west and the DTES began to decline and became labelled a “skid row”. Problems that are associated with this neighbourhood are poverty, homelessness, substance use, prostitution and crime. 21 Today many social and health agencies and organizations are situated throughout the neighbourhood that offer a range of support services. The DTES can be described as a stigmatized neighbourhood. The housing project where the data was collected was a brand new housing project. The project is integrated into a building that incorporates almost 100 self contained units. Out all of these units, 24 units are part of the project, situated on two floors of the building. All residents of the project live in self contained bachelor apartments, which include kitchen, bathroom and shower. Three out of the 24 units are especially designated wheelchair accessible. All residents additionally have access to a communal kitchen, lounge, laundry facilities, outdoor patio and staff office. The program is staffed 24/7 by trained support workers. Additionally the building is monitored by a front desk worker. The housing project provides supported housing for men and women that face multiple challenges including histories of homelessness, substance use, and physical and mental health concerns. In more detail the selection of the residents has been based on the following criteria:  history of homelessness/repeat shelter use/no fixed address (NFA)/difficulty accessing and maintaining housing.  complex housing/survival behaviours that require high tolerance supported housing.  treated or untreated mental health symptomology/substance use and/or complex physical health needs.  residing in the DTES.  minimally at risk of ‘entrenchment’ in an environment of active substance use. 22 The program follows the principle of the housing first approach, providing housing for people having unmet health concerns and complex housing behaviours. The program is also designed to be transitional. Once the residents have stabilized they will receive assistance to move into permanent housing. There will be no set timeframe for this process, given the unique situation of each individual. The philosophy and work ethic of the program in general will be based on concepts like: proactive harm reduction, health promotion framework, high tolerance environment, strength based approach and respecting diversity. A range of services like a medication program, crisis intervention and management, individualized service planning and delivery, home support assistance, as well as further services will be provided. Methodological approach “The problem statement in naturalistic research is not a question or even an objective, but rather ... an expression or dilemma or situation that needs to be addressed for the propose of understanding and direction. The propose of a research inquiry is to ... construct meaning towards that end.” (Erlandson et. al., 1993, p. 49) Following this quote, data for this study was based on eight face-to-face interviews with residents using a naturalistic qualitative research approach developed by Lincoln & Guba (1985). Constructivist inquiry, which is the more accurate label today (Erlandson et. al., 1993), focuses on forms of multiple realities that are individually constructed by each research participant through meaning making, sense making as well as mental activities. This approach seems especially suitable for describing, analyzing and understanding the meaning and creation of home in the context of the actual housing environment. Constructive inquiry moves away from measurable variables and focuses on social constructions. 23 Sample All of the 24 residents of the housing project were potential participants of the study. To recruit the interviewees I was invited by the project to participate at a Sunday morning pancake breakfast. Many residents get together for this occasion and this was a good opportunity for me to introduce myself as well as my research project to the residents. This first meeting happened in a very casual way and the residents had the chance to have their upcoming questions answered. Initially I planned on hanging up posters to recruit the residents during that process. However, there was no need for posters advertising my research because five residents showed immediate interest in my study and interview appointments were scheduled. Throughout the research process it became clear that more participants were needed. Following the principle of purposive sampling additional residents were suggested by the program supervisor. This was important because as mentioned above the individuals face complex difficulties that cannot be simply summarized and might be overwhelming for the participants. The overall situation has to be assessed and that can only be done by a professional person knowing the individuals. After the residents were suggested they were approached individually and the study has been introduced. Three out of five suggested residents showed interest in the study and interview appointments were scheduled. Data collection All the interviews were held during the spring months of 2009. The data was collected through semi-structured in depth interviews following an exploratory design idea. That means that participants had the chance to shape the interview focus 24 according to their individual perspective. The interview format was open, but guided by a set of orienting questions. Questions include areas like: experience of the day residents moved in, personal belongings that they brought, life in the apartment, building and community, their housing history, future ideas as well as their ideas about home in general. All areas were introduced by the researcher but it was up to the interviewee to approach the meaning of home and homemaking in an individual way. That made each interview unique. All participants agreed to conduct the interviews within their apartment. Each interview took approximately one hour, though residents were given more time if they want to talk longer. All interviews were audio recorded. I additionally planned to take field notes that include descriptions about furniture, decoration, special possessions, etc. However, during the first interview making notes seemed to be disrupting the interview process. Instead of writing noticeable aspects down I included them in to the conversation through commenting or asking questions. Field notes have not been included into the data analysis. Each interview started with handling the consent procedure as well as paying each participant an honorarium of $ 15. It was purposely chosen to pay each participant at the beginning of the interview to not create any dependency on the completion of the interview. I came to the conclusion $15 will be an adequate payment considering that the interviews will be approximately one hour long. I decided to pay participants in actual cash because it might be depreciative handing out certificates or vouchers and assuming that residents are not capable of dealing with money. This goes along with the understanding that individuals are the expert of their own lives (Novotny, 2005). At the end of the interviews the participants were given the choice to contact the 25 interviewer with any additional thoughts or concerns about the research topic. It has also been addressed that the finished research paper will made accessibly for each participant. Data analysis After interviews were transcribed by the researcher all the interviews were content analyzed (Patton, 1990). Initially all interviews have been read from beginning to the end to obtain a complete understanding of each individual story. After that each interview has been read in more detail and different themes have been highlighted. Themes evolved that continuously were compared to more abstract categories. A list of themes could be identified that could be transferred into categories and arranged throughout a spread sheet. By the use of the spread sheet consistent patterns and tendencies could be identified and three emergent themes have been formulated. Validity and reliability In the following paragraph I want to briefly discuss aspects of validity and reliability of the research study. It can be found that the applied research design leads to valid conclusions following the understanding of ecological validity. According to Bronfenbrenner (1977) “ecological validity refers to the extent to which the environment experienced by the subjects in a scientific investigation has the properties it is supposed or assumed to have by the experimenter”. (p. 516) Ecological validity involves keeping the real-life situation in the research context while also integrating the larger social and 26 cultural context. The open, semi-structured interviews about home have been conducted within the apartment of the participants, the natural setting. The research situation that has been created can be described as highly authentic. Furthermore credibility is added to the ecological validity by taking my work experience with the population, community and service providers into consideration. I have been working within the DTES and with this specific homeless population for over two years. The day to day work with this population involves countless conversations about home and housing. Reliability can be described as the prerequisite for validity (Kerlinger, 1986). Reliability in a general can be defined as the accuracy of a measure, the interview in this specific case. The accuracy definition implies qualities like prediction, stability, dependability, consistency and dependability. Within this research project reliability is based on the notion of trustworthiness of the data provided throughout the interviews. 27 Findings Profile of the participants The housing project was a brand new program at the time the interviews were conducted. The participants moved into their apartments one to six weeks prior to the interview dates. All participants have been connected to different organizations that initiated the application process as well as supported them until the final moving date. The age of the participants ranged from the mid twenties to the mid sixties. A total of eight residents have been interviewed while two of them identified as female and six as male. Participants stated having multiple challenges concerning mental health, physical health, as well as social challenges. Major themes that have been mentioned were schizophrenia, depression, HIV, being bound to a wheelchair, substance use and social interactions. The following table gives a brief overview on some personal statistics and on aspects of their housing situation. Table 1 Overview of participants Name Gender Previous living arrangements Length of stay in previous living arrangements Time lived in the DTES Chris Male shelter 24 months 7 years Tom Male streets 36 months never Mike Male hospital 24 months 6 years Brad Male shelter Unknown 18 years Jake Male shelter 4 months over 10 years Tina female shelter 14 months 30 years Paul Male hospital 5 months ca. 5 years Sara female shelter 2 months 4-5 years All names are pseudonyms. 28 The emergent themes In order to interpret the meaning and creation of home for the residents, it was important to introduce many different aspects bound to the concept of home within the interview. Participants had the chance to shape the interview focus according to their individual perspective. That made each interview unique. While some participants focused on one aspect and included detailed descriptions, other participants did not see the same topic as important and focused on other characteristics. This becomes apparent in each individuals short definition on home. The following answers have been given: Table 2 “What is home for you?” Name Question Chris Home is my sanctuary. Do you understand what I mean by that? Home is my place, where I can come home and feel safe, close that door and shut the rest of the world out. Tom Safe, comfortable environment. Mike I don’t know, just a good hearty meal. Some cool people to talk to. And weapons to protect yourself. Brad Comfortable surroundings and a place and dwelling that is conducive to positive thinking. Home is comfortable surroundings that you appreciate the aesthetic value. Jake Home is a place where I can come and do my work. Tina My home was really, really beautiful at home. I liked being, being where I was, like when I was growing up. Cause I had lots of friends and I was, I went to school, and I did stuff and had jobs and just, just a lot of different stuff, right, because like a home is where the heart is. A home is like where you make your bed and then you lie in it. That’s your home, right? Right here where I live and I am happy. I am so happy to be here and I really don't want to move nowhere. Paul Like a just a nice community I guess, like, like somewhere, like, you know like being like in an apartment … Home is where the heart is. Sara Well, I have to be happy with the place. The way it looks and how everything works in it. And I have to want to be there. So that's important, that's something that appeals to me. And then what I do is I make it all comfortable with my favourite things that I love and then I am totally happy to be at home. 29 The major theme that is stressed in each short answer became the focal point of the interview. Nevertheless common themes could be identified. The data suggest several avenues to explore. Within this research project the impact of the new apartment as well as the impact of living in a specific neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on the meaning and creation of home is explored. The new apartment as well as the neighbourhood became objectives throughout the interviews which have been most commonly expressed. The following three emergent themes have been identified: 1) self care, 2) divided neighbourhood, and 3) young adulthood. Impact of the value that is assigned to the new housing situation on performing self care, mental health and occupation The finding that struck out the most was the positivity that was expressed in almost every interview. Even though most interviews involved serious topics like substance use, mental and physical health problems and negative life events an overall optimistic point of view onto the current situation was expressed. It could be identified that there was a relationship between the value that has been assigned to the new housing situation and the current overall situation. Three major areas that changed into a positive direction have been pointed out in particular: self care, mental health and occupation. The positive change that was initiated by the value assigned to the new housing situation directly impacted the meaning and creation of home. Experiencing positive change helped to develop a feeling of home within the new apartment. Throughout the following paragraphs I want to describe the relationship between the value that is assigned to the new housing situation and the positive change within the three areas in more detail. 30 Most interviews started out with very satisfied descriptions about each participant’s new apartment. To gain a better understanding I want to introduce a couple of quotes that have been made about the new apartment. Jake describes the positive surprise of his new apartment using the following words: Jake: I was actually pretty stunned, I was, when I came through the doorway and then they opened up the door and then there is a hallway that comes down here with all these doors and I thought, cause it was still dark in here, eh, it was at night time. And I thought this was a hallway that led down to where my door was going to be, right. And I said “Well, do you have to like go through a swipe card to like every door you go through, like every hallway?” They said “No, no. This is your room.” And I went “This is my room?” Cause there was all these doors going down. And then he, the first door of course that he opens is the walking-in-closet and I could not help thinking, you know a couple of months ago I would have been happy to have the walk-in-closet. I am not kidding you, like it would have been just fine with me. After sleeping with rats crawling on you, you know, and what not. And so, yeah, the walk-in-closet even would have been great. You know? Interviewer: So, this was more than you expected it to be? Jake: Way more, probably four or five times more than I thought. And I had pretty big expectations from what I heard. But when I got here and saw this place I just went “Holy cow.” This is like way better, insane. You know? Chris, who has been living in the DTES for seven years, describes the value of his new apartment by pointing out the rare chances of living in a brand new place within the neighbourhood. Chris: I was right for it. Right from day one. Just for the fact that this is a completely brand new building and I will be the first tenant ever to be in the suite. And, that’s, that is a rare chance to have something like that. Especially downtown, down on the Downtown Eastside, you know. The chances of you moving into a brand new suite on skid row is next to nothing. It’s, just, it does not happen. You know, it’s either 40 years old or nothing. You know? Brad expressed the value of the place by comparing his apartment to apartments that are in a more expensive neighbourhood of town. Brad: I love it, dear. This is an absolute class place that deserves to be on the west side. 31 Tina who has finally found a place that suited her special physical needs and has been searching for a place for over one year stated the following. Tina: I am so proud of this place. It’s just, it’s everything that I wanted, everything that I wanted in a place to live. And it’s just totally took my breath away when I moved in. Seven out of eight participants described the new apartment in a very positive way and were absolutely satisfied. The fact that the project was a brand new building at the time was a very big bonus in two different ways. First of all the high level of satisfaction was connected to the physical condition of the building. Aspects that have been mentioned were cleanness of the apartment, no bugs (bed bugs, cockroaches, mice, etc), full kitchen and own bathroom, wheel chair accessibility, quietness, safety and privacy. The second component was the fact that each individual was the first tenant in each suite. There was no history, memory or stigma attached to the place. The overall high satisfaction made the apartments valuable. The value that has been assigned to the place becomes visible in statements that have been made highlighting the worth of the place by perceiving it as either deserving or as a gift as well as the fear of losing the place. The following statements that have been made by participants perceiving this place as deserving: Chris: I feel like I deserve to be here, like, from what I have been through and what I have been subjected to the past few years and the way, the way I live and you know, if anybody just deserves a chance, up, like a place like this, I think I do. I live and you know, if anybody just deserves a chance, up, like a place like this, I think I do. You know, I cleaned myself up, I, you know, made my, you know, I have screwed up in the past and done drugs and everything else but I changed my life around and you know, I am at the level where I am a normal citizen again, hopefully in a public eye, you know, it will never be the same as it was before, but you know, at least, at least I think I can, you know, live an everyday normal live and hopefully be accepted as a normal, you know, taxpaying regular person, you know what I mean. 32 Interviewer: If your person from (name of hospital) would have put you into any kind of hotel around here? Mike: I would have felt cold towards her. My heart would have been steel towards her. It would have not felt warm because see, if people don’t give you a nice house after (name of hospital), and this is what they have to offer and they give you a hotel, they don’t care about you. The value of the place also becomes visible in statements that have been made highlighting the submissive fear of losing the place. A general fear of losing the place could be found in most of the interviews. Three explicit statements that have been given are: Tina: I was really worried about being kicked out, you know. I wanted obey by all the rules and I was worried about losing it as soon as I got. Cause it’s such a price, you know. I am just so, so unbelievably happy here. Chris: I love this place. I finally got a home that’s decent and I don’t want to raise any ripples so where I get myself thrown out or disliked. Do you understand what I am saying? Like I do not want to cause problems, you know. I am willing to go halfway with everybody. Sara: I am safe, happy and, you know, I pretty much don’t think they’ll ask me to leave over nothing. I shouldn’t worry about it. I am just, you know, had it happen before when I loved my place and then I got an eviction notice for no reason. The value that has been assigned to the new housing situation can be identified as the cornerstone here. Housing itself makes a big difference in a person’s life. It creates change in a lot of areas. However, I want to stress that the value that is bound to the new housing situation makes a significant difference. This becomes apparent through comparing the new apartments to other SRO Hotels within the DTES. Sara: Well, you know, hon. I am like totally happy that I got so lucky because, you know, a lot of times you are just stuck in a horrible hotel room. And it’s not stable housing either. It’s like a, you know, just a monthly thing. And you don’t know how long they are going to allow you to stay or anything. You know, you always have to wonder when the landlord is going to tell you his relatives are moving in. And like they told me here I could stay as long as I want. And here I got it. 33 Interviewer: Do you think it would have been different if you would have moved into a hotel? Brad: I wouldn’t have the motivation. I wouldn’t have had the motivation. These statements provide evidence that the value seen in a new apartment matters in the individuals life. One participant highlights this relationship directly by stating Tina: And this place is like the best. Like, it like it’s like helping, it’s helping to change, you know what I mean. Throughout the interviews change has been expressed regarding three major categories: self care, mental health and occupation. Sara summarized the three categories in one statement answering the question about change. Interviewer: Did anything change for you and your life since you moved into here? Sara: Positive attitude. I am much cleaner, like happier and I am taking care of myself better. That’s what I mean. Like I shower twice a day. I am very particular about stuff. And I am, I am just very much, my moods has improved a lot cause I have a beautiful home. And I am trying to get a job right now. The other participants also highlight these three aspects. The three areas became topics throughout the interview. Concerning self care one participant describes his remarkable change as following: Jake: A regular day look like for me. Wake up, think about food… See that’s a good thing, eh. I mean, I just come home, I am, I do drugs…. But when I was out there, I wake up and the first thing I think about was where am I going to get my rock or whatever, you know. But now being in here, when I wake up I think about eating. You know what I mean? So I think that’s a real positive thing. You know what I mean, that I am thinking about me more first, you know, my health or my well being is kind of become more of a priority now. Cause I just feel like, I feel like I have some maybe longevity maybe some potential, that, you know what I mean, that makes it seem like I should probably start caring about myself more. Because there could be a long term thinking that could be a future for me, you know. It could be, you know what I mean. I don’t mind existing here. Cause a lot of other places, I just, it just did nothing really seem to matter anymore. 34 Also in regard to mental health changes have been described. A general tendency of a more positive, uplifting trend could be identified. This is specifically interesting because many participants described severe mental health problems. Jake: It elevates me mentally, you know, it gives me more confidence. It gives me, it makes me feel like my potential is, it’s bigger, you know, it’s expanded in the way that, you know, because it’s so cool here, you know because it’s so nice I think better things about myself. I think, you know, that maybe, you know what I mean, some good things can happen. It puts me in a really good frame of mind, you know. I have a clean nice place I love coming home to and spending time in. The third area of change that has been mentioned was occupation. In six out of eight interviews future employment evolved as a topic. Occupation was a major theme that was bound to the creation and meaning of home. For some participants occupation through the regular labour market was not seen as a possibility due to health challenges. Goal oriented programs substituted the regular occupation and became a bigger topic within the interview. The following statements about occupation have been made: Sara: I am going to get a job pretty soon. I know it. I am sure I get one at the bottle depot. So that will be a big improvement. Jake: I could even make like a little miniature studio of stuff here, eh. You know what I mean, like if somebody wanted to come and see my stuff or see my, I would never have an issue with somebody coming over here and, you know what I mean, like, I mean, it’s a little bit messy right now. Tom: Relieves a lot of stress and the pressures. I am not, having an environment that you are comfortable in. Cause I can say now that I can cook and I have a fridge to store stuff I don’t have to run around on a daily basis for my three square meals. My clothing cam be washed, everything is right here. Now I can spend more time working on, getting you know, proper employment and getting my company up the ground. Doing the things that I could not deal with before because I did not have time for it. 35 Positive change has been described mainly in these three areas. Other areas that also have been mentioned but have not been as consistent were for example family relations. For some participants family interactions became easier due to living in the new apartments. However, this category has not been consistent throughout the interviews. Some participants stated that the new place did not have an impact at all on their family relations. The three areas introduced above can be identified as the major areas of change. Change has been initiated by the positive value that has been assigned to the new housing situation. One neighbourhood, two opposing parts - location and community The second finding that I chose to highlight in this research project is the discrepancy when it comes to descriptions of the neighbourhood, the DTES. In general, the term neighbourhood summarizes a geographical location and a community that inhabits that space. Throughout most interviews the neighbourhood has been described with positive as well as negative aspects. This part of the interview shows this opposition: Interviewer: So, do you think this place here is in a, in a good location for you? Jake: It is actually. It is and it isn’t. You know? By analysing the data it could be found that there is a strong distinction between location and the community. While the location has been described as positive in seven out of eight cases the neighbourhood community has been described in a more negative way. Participants described the location of the apartment as convenient, good or even perfect. These descriptions were geared towards aspects like transportation, 36 services, shopping, programs, volunteer opportunities and work. The following statements have been given: Chris: Yeah, oh it’s perfect, because (name of clinic) it’s only a couple blocks and then there is the restaurant, my restaurant that I frequent all the time, the bakery that I go to all the time, the (name of bakery) just on (name of street) there. Tina: Convenient location because I can get on a bus and go to any place that I want. Sara: I need the help form the free, the free places you can access. Cause I am on disability and I can’t, I can’t afford to just to be totally independent. I need to rely on some of the services. Like free food places and clothing and stuff and mental health is close by. Tom: Well, a lot of the services I needed were in this community, so when I needed them, I come into this community. I do a lot of volunteer work at (name of church) which is in this community. Jake: The fact that everybody else and his dog is out front here selling anything you can ever want is kind of cool. You know, you don’t have to go far to go shopping. You know, for whatever you might want. The community on the other hand has been described in a more negative way. The following descriptions have been given: Tom: …But when I step out of course I step out into what I call the jungle, so. Sara: They are rats. They leave each other to their own scams. That’s true that’s how they, that’s how they say it. Like you know, they are not going to come to your aid. They are all, they are all in the same boat. They are not going to rush over and help Johnny, help Johnny’s victim. Are they? Like the one that are all partying. They know each other. Chris: I really, I don’t have friends here anymore. They are all acquaintances. Everybody down here is junkies, right. I can’t, since I cleaned myself up I, it’s hard to keep them as friends. They are basically just acquaintances now. You know, I say, like, don’t get me wrong, there’s, there’s, most, most of the, that I would call my friends are basically girls. You know, because, I am there, all the girls, you know, lot of girls and speak to me a lot more. Mike: Yeah, it’s like, you know a community, you know, it’s a sensitive community down here. You just have to keep your horns straight, right. You can’t go up to someone and say “hey, what are you doing man” or else they’ll go “oh, look at you” “hey get the fuck out of here, man”. 37 However the community has not been described as entirely negative. One participant pointed out that he feels understood within the community according to his mental health concerns Mike: But out here people are like “How is it going? Schizophrenic?” “Oh really, my friend is too” you know, you even get email addresses, you can get, you can get peers around you, you know. One aspect about the community that was consistently criticised was the lack of safety. Most people stated that they don’t feel secure within the community. Many people shared memories about events that they haven been threatened or even robbed. The followings statements have been made: Brad: People down here are envious, jealous and the type of people that will rob you, like I have been robbed so many times. Sara: I am a little anxious. Not, not so much in the daytime but at night. Paul: I feel safe within the apartment but sometimes when you go outside you never know what’s going to happen out there cause of people, so many people come up to you and they will be like “You want to buy this or buy that” or they will be like… One time this guy walked by and he goes “Get back inside your filthy.” you know, I like “What”. And I just walked inside and I told the guy at the front desk that there was some guy threatening me to go back inside the building and the, I don’t know like, just some people, just the people out there are just kind of a bit of a nuisance if you ask me. Even though the community itself has been described in a negative way participants were generally satisfied with the place of the apartment building. This became transparent in answer about the miracle question of moving the building to any other neighbourhood. Interviewer: Yeah. So, if you could move this building into another area, would you do that, if you are, have the choice, or would you leave it here? Sara: I will leave it here. Interviewer: You would leave it here? Sara: Yes. It’s a historical part of town. 38 Jake: I think, I think that it needs to be here because this is kind of, you know what I am saying? This is where, the thing is a lot of homeless people would have, you know, maybe even slept right out front here for last winter, whatever, you know what I mean. You can bring in cans and bottles to the bottle depot. I mean this is like a real central location for a lot of things, so be here it’s like just being here but in a different capacity, you know? In some interviews the contractive parts about the neighbourhood became a topic of the conversation. In two interviews the opposing points have been explained by pointing out positive change that will be initiated and create a more clean and safe area. Sara: I will eventually like it a lot more because they are cleaning up this area. There is not going to be crime and drug dealing outside. Cause of the Olympics too and the police… They are planning on cleaning this up and build all new buildings and make it nice again. That’s obvious, isn’t it? Tom: As much as I tell people exactly where it is, yeah, but I also tell them at the same time, that I know that they are cleaning up the area. The Woodworth building is opening soon and they are not gonna stand for what is going on down here. They are going to do a major clean up. Plus they are fixing up from what I have read in the paper, Pigeon Park. They put $ 187000 into revamping and turn this more into a tourist area. So,… Another participant provided the following explanation: Jake: No, like everything else. You can’t have a good side without having a bad side. It just, it’s not possible. A clear contradictive perception could be identified when it comes to the neighbourhood that the participants live in. While the geographical location has been described as mostly convenient and positive the community has been portrayed more negatively by mainly highlighting the lack of safety. Age – young adults and their special needs The third theme that I want to stress as a finding in this thesis is the importance of age as a factor on the meaning and creation of home. Out of the eight interviews that 39 I conducted seven participants called the place a home and were generally satisfied with the overall situation. Only one, the youngest of the participants, made the following point: Interviewer: So, would you call this place home, though? Paul: No, it’s just a time away from home. This statement has struck me in a very special way because of my work experience with the young adult homeless population over the span of the last six months. The age factor has become the focus of attention in regards to housing search and homemaking behaviour. This interview supports the general experiences from working more in depth with that specific population on the meaning and creation of home. It can be identified that street involved young people do not tend to identify with or associate themselves with adult homeless people or drug users. They tend to remain in areas that feel safer and where they are less likely to be victimized. This directly impacts the meaning and creation of home. Paul described his feelings when he moved into the new place with the following words: Paul: I felt like it was, it was like a strange place to be because when you go outside and stuff there is lots of stuff going, like lots of, like you have lots crime going on the streets and stuff. And it, and some people seem like they could be, you know like, threatening a little bit. So I just, most of the time I stay inside and if I need to get something or I need to go out I just go out and I, I don’t know, I just… It is a nice place. It is probably the nicest place I had for a long time but, it’s just the area I don’t like, right. Paul has been living in the DTES for several years now. Throughout that time he did not become used to the neighbourhood nor has any identification been made. Paul’s comments on the DTES community in more detail: Paul: Like being in the Eastside, I really don’t like the scene. I rather move somewhere, where the things are little more laid back and people are, you know, a little bit more friendlier and you don’t have to worry about walking outside and 40 getting like beat up or mugged or anything, you know. A place where, you know, I like outside of the downtown area somewhere would be nice, you know. These statements are congruent with my work experience from working in a low barrier shelter in the Downtown Core of Vancouver. These young adults denied all housing opportunities that were located within the DTES. Community became an essential pillar that the meaning and creation of home is built on. This also becomes clear in Paul short definition of home. Paul: Home is where the heart is. Interviewer: Where is your heart, Paul? Paul: Ha? Interviewer: Where is your heart? Paul: I don’t know. I really don’t know. It is in my chest still, but I don’t know. My heart is with people I love, you know, like my family and stuff and people I care about and stuff. Paul does not feel connected to the people living there. It is hard for him to find new friends as well as maintaining friendships. Living in this community is perceived as a barrier for social interactions. Paul states Paul: I haven’t walked out the building and I have nobody really befriend me except for like one person or something. I don’t know. He also describes the impact on living in the area on his friendships as following: Interviewer: Do you have any except your family do you have any other friends coming over and visit you? Paul: I was going to have this girl. She lives in Coquitlam. She wanted to come and visit me but I have to call her back. Her name is… What is her name again? Rachel. Right, Rachel. Yeah. I was going to ask Rachel if she wanted to come visit some time and hang out or something but I told her I don’t know if she would be comfortable with walking all the way down through this area because she is like a Christian nice girl and stuff, you know, I just thought, I was paranoid of her not being safe if she came over here or something. Another aspect that shapes the opinion about the DTES for most participants is the supply of recourses within the area. Most participants highlight the high supply of 41 programs, free meals and clothing, drop in centers, etc as very positive. Paul on the other hand does not access any of these services. Paul: I just, I don’t really like going there anymore for some reason. That also goes along with the experiences that I made working with a young adult homeless population. They have different needs, require different kinds of support and services and therefore are not drawn to the high supply of services in the DTES. Based on these findings that are supported by my work experience it can be identified that the young adult homeless population separates themselves geographically and as well as socially from a general adult homeless population. It has to be recognised that age strongly impacts the meaning of home as well as the homemaking behaviours. 42 Discussion In the following discussion the three findings will be explained using Goffman’s theory (1963) presented in his two essays “On Face Work” and “The Nature of Deference and Demeanor”. I will also transfer the findings back into the context of home by stressing the parallels between the way individuals go about negotiation their identity and the way individuals go about establishing home. This section is followed by some practical implications and ends with a list of limitations to the research study and suggestions for future research. Self care Within this paragraph I want to integrate Goffman’s theory (1963) that he presents in his essay “The Nature of Deference and Demeanor” into the relationship between the value of the new housing situation and the change on performing self care, mental health and occupation. In short, within this theory Goffman defines demeanor to be the way a person acts or presents themself within the contexts of their appropriate place. Deference can be described more broadly as an act of recognition by one person regarding their own place relative to the place of another person in society. These two elements can be identified within that relationship. I want to stress that the new apartment that was provided to each participant was read as an act of deference. This influences changes in the demeanor of the participants in areas of self performance, mental health and occupation. I want to argue that receiving an act of deference leads to changes in demeanor. 43 The “hard to house” population faces a spectrum of challenges which include aspects of homelessness, substance use, physical as well as mental illnesses and disabilities, complex housing and survival behaviours, childhood trauma, working in the sex trade, etc. These characteristics impact appearance and behaviour of the individuals. For example, living on the streets and in shelters goes along with difficulties in accessing shower facilities as well as acquiring clothing. Furthermore, specific behaviours can develop due to untreated mental health problems and substance use. Appearance and behaviour, or more detailed deportment, dress, and bearing are key aspects of Goffman’s definition of demeanor. Important to mention at this point is that the demeanor of a person cannot be understood in isolation, without the deference. Deference is described as behavioural rituals that relate one position or role, to another. The two concepts are complementary and not always clear cut. In general the interchange follows the principle of deference given influences demeanor read and demeanor read influences deference given. In this specific case the appearance and behaviour of a homeless person can be interpreted as either, deference and demeanor (compare Goffman: doctor – patient - bath scenario on p. 82). The appearance and behaviour of the hard to house population can be read as both: a poor demeanor or a denied act of deference to the broader society. That often results in failed interactional rituals between the “hard the house” population and other members of society. Ideally individuals accept the values and roles provided by society through presenting in a well demeanor and receiving proper acts of deference or providing proper acts of deference and being perceived as having a good demeanor. This results in a game of interactional rituals that can be played without disturbance. 44 In the case of this specific housing project the offer of a brand new apartment has been read as an act of deference by the “hard to house” population. Deference in this specific situation is expressed by offering each individual a new apartment to live in. The focal point here is that both parties acknowledge the value and agree to participate in the ritual interaction. The act of deference is always dependent on the context. A gesture is not defined as an act of deference if the individual on the receiving end does not read it at as appropriate. Goffman describes situations of incompatible gestures of deference especially within intergroup interactions (p. 82). However, offering the new apartment has been read as an act of deference for the participants of the study. That becomes visible in the value that is adopted by the participant and assigned to the new apartment. The participants state an overall satisfaction with the place and the fear of losing it provides evidence for the value that is assigned to the place. Additionally the value of this apartment becomes apparent by comparing the place to other housing options within the downtown eastside. The value creates the core of the act of deference. Goffman states that “individuals may desire, earn and deserve deference.” (p. 58) Many participants state feelings of deserving of living in a nice place and overall the apartments are desired. As shown in the finding section change within the individual has been initiated. Most participants state change within the areas of self care, mental health and occupation. These three areas relate directly to the demeanor of the participants. Goffman lists deportment, dress, and bearing as the immediate components that portray desirable or undesirable qualities which lead to an either good or poor demeanor. Living in the new apartments create an environment that makes it possible to wash and 45 change clothes, take showers on a regular basis and gives the individuals time to dress and present themselves in a certain way. Additionally an uplifting trend towards mental health has been described as well as a motivation to get back into the labour market. All three components impact the participant’s demeanor. In his essay Goffman describes several interplay scenarios between acts and gestures of deference and demeanor. The relationship is described as complex and not always clear cut. However, Goffman indicates the two concepts as curtail parts of the rules of conduct that form the binding of society. The interplay between the two concepts is guided by obligations and expectations. In the study the participants have received a gesture of deference which leads to an impact of the demeanor of the participants. In this case the relationship between deference and demeanor can be seen as complementary. The gesture of deference triggers a certain demeanor. Using Goffman’s words “The image the individual owes to others to maintain of himself is not the same type of image these others are obligated to maintain of him. Deference images tend to point to the wider society outside the interaction, to the place the individual has achieved in the hierarchy of this society.” (p. 82) In this study the participants have not been treated according to their presented image, a poor demeanor. A gesture of deference has been provided by offering the participants a valuable apartment which made them feel that they are not the bottom part of society. This initiated a change within the demeanor. The gesture of deference can be understood as an invite back into society, into the game governed by the rules of conduct. Being back in the game places obligations and expectations back onto the individual which leads to changes of the demeanor. For this study in particular the 46 participants state changes of the demeanor in the areas of self care, mental health and occupation. Divided neighbourhood The second finding that I want to discuss is the clear distinction between geographical location and community when it comes to the neighbourhood the participants live in. While the geographical location is mostly described as positive the community in general is portrayed in a more negative way. I want to explain the opposing viewpoints on the neighbourhood by using Goffman’s theory on face-work. To understand the two viewpoints I want to introduce the two terms: face and line. In short, Goffman defines face as the image of self that is presented. A line is a pattern of verbal (language) and non-verbal (gestures) acts that portray the individual’s version of the situation, others, and self. In the following paragraph I want to argue that the geographical location and the community provide two different lines for the participants. Both lines are approached in opposing ways but eventually lead to maintaining face which is consistent. First of all I want to stress that the interview situation has to be described as a face to face contact. That implies that the participants present themselves in a face that portrays the positive social values that each participant claims for himself. Faces and lines available to the participants are generally limited. Goffman notes that encounters are set within legitimized institutional contexts. (p. 7) Choices of faces and lines are regulated by known and visible attributes and a moral commitment. Through the interview situation within the new apartment attributes have been assigned. As the 47 interviewer I knew the criteria why individuals could move into the new housing project and I have been within their apartment, their home. As a university student I also set a certain standard for moral commitment. Within these limits participants chose a face that was still coherent with the image the each participant has of him or herself. Concerning the view and opinion on neighbourhood within the interview two different lines have been taken to present and maintain face. Within the interview the geographical location has been described as convenient, good or even perfect. This has been based on aspects like transportation, services, shopping, programs, volunteer opportunities and work. Especially by introducing services and programs, volunteer opportunities and work desirable social values that are related to these themes are implied. Goffman states in particular that the line presents the “evaluation of the participants, especially himself” (p. 5). To maintain the presented face the participants have to distance themselves from the community especially the negative behaviours that are assigned to it. That leads to statements that describe the community in a more negative way. A distance is created between behaviours of the community and the participant. Goffman describes the process using the following words: “Whatever his position in society, the person insulates himself by blindness, half-truths, illusions, and rationalizations. He makes an “adjustment” by convincing himself, with the tactful support of his intimate circle, that he is what he wants to be and that he would not do to gain his ends what the others have done to gain theirs. And as for society, if the person is willing to be subject to informal social control – if he is willing to find out from hints and glances and tactful cues what his place is, and keep it – then there will be no objection to furnishing this place at his own discretion, with all the comfort, elegance and nobility that his wit can muster for him. To protect his shelter he does not have to 48 work hard, or join a group, or compete with anybody; he need only be careful about the expressed judgements he places himself in a position to witness. Some situations and acts and persons will have to be avoided; others, less threatening, must not be pressed too far.” (p. 43) When it comes to the neighbourhood the participants share a split opinion to present their chosen face. While the amount of services and programs, volunteer and work opportunities can be integrated into their face the community especially the behaviours that are connected to the community have to be avoided. Young adulthood It has been found that young adults distance themselves geographically as well as socially from the general homeless population. Within the interview as well as during my time working with young homeless individuals it could be found that no identification or integration with the neighbourhood, the DTES was made. This was even extended to the point that young adults seem to avoid the DTES completely. In the following paragraph I want to explain this finding. The act of distancing from the DTES, the community as well as the location, can be explained as an avoidance ritual. Avoidance rituals are one of the basic strategies of face work, a way individuals go about being consistent with their face. A face can be summarized as an image a person presents themself in, guided by approved social attributes. Faces are produced through certain lines, pattern of verbal (language) and non-verbal (gestures) acts that portray the individual’s version of the situation, others, and self and are negotiated during interactions. Goffman states that a “person tends to experience an immediate emotional response to the face which a contact with others 49 allows him; he cathects his face; his “feelings” become attached to it.” (p. 6) In general, it can be found that maintaining face feels good while a threat to a face is perceived as unpleasant. In the case of Paul he was offered a new apartment within the DTES. The DTES, the community and the location itself is associated with many problems like poverty, homelessness, substance use, prostitution and criminal behaviour. That does not go along with the face Paul is trying to produce. He finds himself presented in the wrong face and unpleasant feelings are produced. To maintain his face he avoids further interactions with the neighbourhood which would reproduce feelings of being in the wrong face. A question that has to be raised at this point is why especially young adults engage in avoidance rituals when it comes to the DTES. I want to point out the following quote Goffman provided: “Thus while concern for face focuses the attention of the person on the current activity, he must, to maintain face in this activity, take into consideration his place in the social world beyond it. ... There is nevertheless a limitation to his interdependence between the current situation and the wider social world.” (p. 7) I want to argue at this point that young adults find themselves in different place within the social world than general adults. The two different social worlds have different limitations that open up or deny certain lines that contribute to face. To maintain face as a young adult experiencing homelessness the DTES has to be avoided. 50 Back to home Goffman’s theory on interaction rituals provides an insight on how individuals go about establishing, maintaining and preserving identity. In these specific cases it is shown how the participants go about negotiating their identity within the new housing situation and within the neighbourhood, the DTES. Three different patterns have been discussed. At the beginning I argued that there are parallels between the way individuals go about negotiation their identity and the way individuals go about negotiating home. In the following section I want to transfer the gained knowledge back to the context of home. The first finding shows that the majority of participants perceive a high value in the new housing situation and changes within certain areas are created. It can be said that the new apartments provide an environment that helps to unfold the participants’ identities. It opens up opportunities to connect to circles like occupation that have been denied before. Creating a home means to construct and environment that helps to ritually protect one’s face. The existential experience of home can only be reached when access to all circles is guaranteed (Havel, 1994). In this case a reconnection to certain circles has been initiated which supports a “feeling of home” to occur. The valued environment, the new apartment contributes to being able to play the ritual game of having a self which leads to the existential experience of home to happen. The second and third finding focuses in more detail on the connection to one circle in particular, the neighbourhood. The second finding demonstrates that most participants wanted to live in a neighbourhood which they both love and hate at the 51 same time. This is an important element to understand when it comes to the meaning and creation of home for this specific population. On the one hand the circle neighbourhood is connected to social programs and organizations, work, shopping opportunities that help to support some parts of their identity to unfold. On the other hand the connection with the neighbourhood threatens aspects of identity due to associated problems like poverty, substance use, criminal activity, etc. It has to be recognized that there is a constant struggle bound to the circle of neighbourhood that influences the meaning and creation of home. There is a struggle of having a ritual game of self within the neighbourhood that allows the existential experience of home to happen but also challenges that experience at the same time. The third finding focuses on the special needs of the young adult within the subset of the population. It could be found that no connection between participant and the neighbourhood has been made. Even more extreme, the circle has been avoided. The ritual game of having a self cannot unfold because the connection to the neighbourhood is not made. That results in the fact that the participant cannot develop a feeling of being at home. The experience of home cannot freely unfold because there is a missing circle or the given circle is being refused. Practical applications The concept of home for the “hard to house” population has not been described covering all circles. Instead subsections like the new housing situation as well as the impact of living in the DTES on the meaning and creation of home has been the focus of this research project. Analysing these influences and impacts on the meaning and 52 creation of home can be described as supportive in trying to solve the mismatch between service providers that provide housing and the “hard to house” population that is trying to create a home. I want to briefly provide an example of how these findings could contribute to the general praxis of working with this population. The first research finding can be integrated into the housing first approach. The housing first approach is innovative in a way that it promotes independent housing for homeless individuals facing complex problems rather than moving them along the continuum of care model. (Tsemberis, 2000) This working approach is gaining more and more popularity over time trying to house the “hard to house” population. Integrating the knowledge that the recognition of offering housing as an act of deference alters the demeanor adopted by the "hard-to-house" can be recognized as important information. Understanding homemaking behaviours can be defined as crucial to successfully work with this approach. It can be said that this findings contributes knowledge to the housing first approach. The two other findings can also be described as beneficial when it comes to working with the “hard to house” population. Keeping in mind that there is a constant struggle when it comes to living in the DTES might explain certain behaviours. Also a strong reaction of young adults that do not want to move into the area should be given a valid thought when trying to offer them housing. 53 Limitations and future research Overall, this research project contributes to the existing literature on the meaning of home for the “hard to house” population. Nevertheless this study comes with some limitations. One major constraint is that the research project explored the meaning and creation of home for the “hard to house” population living in the DTES of Vancouver. As summarized above, the DTES carries specific characteristics and cannot be easily compared to other neighbourhoods. It would be interesting to gain an additional perspective from different cities or even different countries. Furthermore, some critique can be made according to the sampling. Only a small number of eight mostly male middle aged individuals have been interviewed. This becomes especially problematic regarding the third research finding that is based on only one participant. Including more participants with a better gender and age distribution could contribute to a broader perspective on the concept of home. Additionally all participants were brand new residents at the same housing project. This was beneficial for the research study on the one hand side because all the participants found themselves in a new similar situation. This simplified the analysis of patterns. On the other hand it would have contribute to the research if participants were included that live in a different housing settings or would be living in their places for longer periods of time. Additional limitations can be found within the research design itself. The only way to conduct data was done through interviews. Integrating observational data would have been valuable considering the theoretical framework of naturalistic inquiry. 54 This research project also opens up the options for some future research. First of all, further research on the topic of home could be done that is trying to eliminate the above stated research limitations. Furthermore the future studies could expand up on the three themes identified by this research project. It would be important to gain more knowledge specifically on the meaning and creation of home for young adults that are already labelled “hard to house”. Also, more research needs to be done concerning the other circles. As Havel (1994) stresses, all circles are mutually important. 55 Conclusion The meaning and creation of home for the “hard to house” population has been subject of this research project. It can be said that the meaning and the creation of home for the “hard to house” population cannot be summarized into one simple formula. Nevertheless, home can be defined through interactions that individuals have with their environment. Home can be understood as an experience that is located within the individual and negotiated through positive interactions. To more closely understand these interactions interviews were conducted. All the interviews emphasised different aspects depending on each participant’s life history, needs and challenges. Nevertheless, this research study contributes towards a better understanding when it comes to the meaning of home and its creation for individuals facing complex challenges. By limiting the focus onto the new housing situation and the neighbourhood, the DTES, some underlying patterns that impact the meaning and creation of home could be identified. Three emergent themes were suggested by the data: 1. Impact of the value that is assigned to the new housing situation on performing self care, mental health and occupation; 2. One neighbourhood, two opposing parts - location and community; 3. Age – young adults and their special needs. By applying Goffman’s theory on interaction rituals combined with Havel’s definition of home these findings were integrated into the meaning and creation of home for the “hard to house” population. Parallels were provided by analysing the way individuals go about negotiating identities and the way participants go about establishing home. After all, the gained knowledge on the meaning making and creation of home can be seen as a small contribution towards the existing literature as well as practical working approaches. This research project can be seen as a small step towards solving 56 the existing mismatch between service providers that supply housing and the needs of the most vulnerable and marginalized homeless population, the “hard to house”. 57 Bibliography Allan, G. & Crow, G., (eds), (1989), Home and Family: Creating the Domestic Sphere, London: Macmillan. 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Tucker, A., (1994), In Search of Home, Journal of Applied Philosophy, Vol. 11 (2): 181– 187. Ward, P. (1999) A history of domestic space: privacy and the Canadian home, Vancouver: UBC Press. 61 Appendix Appendix A Interview Guide Moving In: Moving in Date So, you just moved into the LUX. But when exactly did you move in? What was the date? Or how long ago approximately ago did you move in here? Application Process Where and when did you hear about the LUX? How did you apply? Did anybody help you apply? How long ago did you know that you will get an apartment in here? Did you tell anybody that you can move in here? What made you decide to move into here? Why did you choose the LUX? How did you feel about moving here? Were you excited? Did you worry about it? First Day If you think back to the day you moved in, can you describe to me how the day went? Did you have anybody help you move in? Were you happy to move in? What kind of things did you bring? What was the first thing you did in your new place? Did you invite people over or, were you happy to be by yourself? Was furniture provided? Where did you get most of your things from? Who or what do you consider a big help? What did you do in general to make yourself feel at home? Current Situation: Home and House Can you describe your current place to me? Kitchen, Bathroom, Bedroom Furniture, Pictures, Decoration, Collectables What do you really like about this place? What don’t you like? What could be better? Where do you spend most of your time within the apartment? Home and Things What are the things in here that are most important to you? Why? Did you own them before? Are they new? Where are they from? 62 Are there things that you consider important that are still missing? Do you have a pet or a plant? Home and Family/Friends Are you still in touch with your family? Do they live close by? Do they come and visit you, or are you going to see them? Do you have any other visitors coming over? Do you know your neighbours? Other residents? Do you have friends close by? Do they come over? Do you have a partner that is coming over? Are there group activities? Do you participate? How do you like living by yourself in your own apartment? How do you see staff? Home and Safety / Safe Haven Do you feel safe within the apartment? Within the building? The community? Are you able to relax in here? Does the presence of staff increases your feeling of safety? Home and Belonging Do you feel accepted? Do you feel you belong here? Do you think this is the right place for you to be? Home and Privacy When it comes to privacy, do you think you have enough privacy in here? Home and Routine What does a regular day look like for you? Are there things now which you are able to do that you could not do before? Are there things you used to do that you cannot do anymore? Home and Community Since when have you lived in the DTES? Sometimes people go to a place for a particular reason such as to eat, get a haircut, work, get something fixed, make crafts, or get exercise, or just hang out. Do those places exist for you? What is it? Is the Lux in an appropriate distance to those places? How do you get around? Do you use transit? Are you satisfied with that? Do you consider yourself being involved with community? Would you like to change that? Home and Identity Do you think this place reflects who you are? Why? How? Do you think this place says something of where you are at in life right now? 63 Home – other aspects What changed since you moved into here? Do you think you will do well in this home? Where do you feel most at home within this building? Kitchen? Bed? What do you think could be a reason for you to decide to move away from here? Would you call this place a home? Why? Why not? What is missing? History: Personal History What is your age? Where and when were you born? What is your family background? Where did you grow up? Are there any other aspects you want to share about yourself that you think are important for me to know? Housing History: Where did you live before moving here? How many times on average did you move until now? What was the major reason for most of your moves? Did you experience homelessness? What was your favourite place to live up until now? Why? Which of the places do you call home? Why? Future / Ideal Situation: Where do you see yourself in one year from now? Where do you see yourself in 10 years from now? What would your ideal home look like? After all: What is home for you? Do you have anything else you would like to share? Thank you for your participation! 64 Appendix B The University of British Columbia Office of Research Services Behavioural Research Ethics Board Suite 102, 6190 Agronomy Road, Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z3 CERTIFICATE OF APPROVAL - FULL BOARD PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: INSTITUTION / DEPARTMENT: UBC BREB NUMBER: Nathanael T. Lauster UBC/Arts/Sociology H08-02600 INSTITUTION(S) WHERE RESEARCH WILL BE CARRIED OUT: Institution Site N/A N/A Other locations where the research will be conducted: The first choice to carry out the interviews will be within the subject’s apartment. All participants will live within a housing first project operated by -------------------------. The project itself will be called ---------- (Program Description attached). --------- is located at ------------------ ------------ in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. If the interviewee does not feel comfortable to do the interview within their apartment other options like the staff office, a local coffee shop or other locations will be provided. CO-INVESTIGATOR(S): Judith T. Goetz SPONSORING AGENCIES: N/A PROJECT TITLE: The Meaning and Creation of Home for Residents --------------------------------- REB MEETING DATE: CERTIFICATE EXPIRY DATE: January 8, 2009 January 8, 2010 DOCUMENTS INCLUDED IN THIS APPROVAL: DATE APPROVED: February 1, 2009 Document Name Version Date Consent Forms: Consent Form 2 January 21, 2009 Consent Form N/A December 1, 2008 Advertisements: Poster N/A December 1, 2008 Questionnaire, Questionnaire Cover Letter, Tests: Interview Guide N/A December 5, 2008 Other Documents: Letter from ------------------------- N/A December 5, 2008 Resource List N/A December 1, 2008 ---------------- program description N/A December 5, 2008 The application for ethical review and the document(s) listed above have been reviewed and the procedures were found to be acceptable on ethical grounds for research involving human subjects. 65 Approval is issued on behalf of the Behavioural Research Ethics Board and signed electronically by one of the following: Dr. M. Judith Lynam, Chair Dr. Ken Craig, Chair Dr. Jim Rupert, Associate Chair Dr. Laurie Ford, Associate Chair Dr. Daniel Salhani, Associate Chair Dr. Anita Ho, Associate Chair

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