Doctorate Research with Homeless Families

Working with Homeless Families

PhotoVoice is a participatory action research strategy that enables community members to document and discuss their life conditions as they see them. This photographic technique can give “voice” to vulnerable populations who seldom have access to policymakers in positions to make change on their behalf.  Thirteen homeless individuals living in St. Paul, Minnesota were provided cameras and asked to document the everyday reality of their personal or family’s health. They were directed to photograph any image they believed either positively or negatively influenced their personal or family’s health.

Using this method enabled community members to gain insight into the issues of concerns and community assets from the perspective of the individuals living the experience.

The findings from this study are consistent with that of other investigators who reported that for homeless adults meeting the basic needs of food, shelter and safety is closely tied to perceptions of one’s health status.