"I've lived on these streets, and these streets aren't pretty" : The Life Stories of Corvallis Homeless Women Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/5d86p2439

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  • Over two million people experience homelessness in the United States, but homeless people are often marginalized by invisibility and stigmas surrounding poverty within their local communities. This research seeks to amplify the voices of Corvallis area homeless women as a means to understand their everyday lived experiences. Six women residing in an emergency overnight shelter were invited to share their life stories through the method of oral narrative. By using a grounded theory approach and qualitative analysis, their narratives were coded and common themes were identified. The major themes that emerged from their life stories include (1) Experiences of Trauma, (2) Barriers to Accessing Services, (3) Motherhood, and (4) What It Means to be a Homeless Woman. The aim of this project was to counter the dominant myths surrounding homelessness through homeless women's own words. With the knowledge of the participant's experiences, it is the hope that the community can better serve this marginalized population.
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