A Constructivist Grounded Theory Study of Refugee Pathways In and Out of Homelessness

  • Author / Creator
    St Arnault, David
  • The current global humanitarian crisis has led to the record number of 65 million people being displaced from their homelands (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2017). Canada is one of the top refugee receiving countries in the world, receiving between 20,000 and 40,000 refugees annually (Government of Canada, 2016). Unfortunately, even after immigration, refugees tend to be more vulnerable to homelessness than all other immigrants and the general population in Canada (Murdie, 2008; Preston et al., 2011). The issue of refugee homelessness remains largely neglected in the research literature, with the extent of the problem, pathways into and out of homelessness and the unique service needs of this population remaining poorly understood (DeCandia, Murphy, & Coupe, 2014). This qualitative study utilized a constructivist grounded theory design to investigate the housing trajectories of adult refugees in Edmonton who had experienced homelessness after their arrival in Canada, and who made progress in exiting the cycle of homelessness by obtaining suitable and secure housing. Nineteen refugee participants from diverse countries including Afghanistan, Iraq, Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia, Congo, Rwanda, and Syria participated in semi-structured interviews about their experiences, and their interview disclosures were triangulated with feedback from 10 service providers who had experience assisting refugees with the housing and settlement process. The emerging model of refugee homelessness identified 6 unique pathways into homelessness, and 7 unique pathways out of homelessness that are specific to refugees. Each of these pathways and the implications for policy and practice are discussed in this dissertation.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Fall 2017
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.