An Intersectional Analysis of Victimization of the Homeless, Mental Health, Guardianship and Housing Status
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Barker, Kelly. An Intersectional Analysis of Victimization of the Homeless, Mental Health, Guardianship and Housing Status; A research paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree, Department of Criminal Justice, University of Winnipeg. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: University of Winnipeg, August 2020. DOI: 10.36939/ir.202208171131.
The present study examines victimization across a localized homeless population. It is widely agreed upon across the extant literature that those experiencing homelessness are victimized at disproportionately higher rates in comparison to the general population. Utilizing routine activities and lifestyles theories, this paper examined how varying degrees of housing and mental health issues affect the likelihood of victimization for those experiencing homelessness. It was hypothesized that lower levels of housing and higher degrees of mental health issues exacerbate the high rates of victimization across the homeless population. Utilizing a routine activities perspective, this study conceptualized housing as a measure of guardianship. This study utilized a secondary data analysis design. Secondary data was accessed from the Winnipeg At Home/Chez Soi project. Using negative binominal regression, it was found that there is a relationship between mental health, guardianship, and victimization. Analyses provided partial support for the hypotheses that greater mental health challenges contribute to a higher propensity of victimization. Although the results illustrated that greater levels of stable housing did have a mitigating effect on victimization at the 12-month time period serious mental health issues were found to be a considerably stronger predictor of victimization than guardianship through housing. The findings suggest that proximity to high crime areas, certain lifestyle factors and individual activities may still account for much of high victimization rates for the homeless, despite an increase in provision of housing. Future qualitative inquiry is recommended to better understand the processes that impact victimization for the homeless with mental health issues.