The Relationship Between Well-Being, Future Planning and Intentions to Utilise Intervention Programmes: What Can Be Learned From Homeless Service Users?

There has been an increasing interest in the impact of individual well-being on the attitudes and actions of people receiving services designed to offer support. If well-being factors are important in the uptake and success of service programmes it is important that the nature of the relationships involved is understood by service designers and implementers. As a contribution to understanding, this paper examines the impact of well-being on the uptake of intervention programmes for homeless people. From the literature on well-being a number of factors are identified that contribute towards overall well-being, which include personal efficacy and identity, but also more directly well-being can be viewed as personal or group/collective esteem. The impact of these factors on service use is assessed by means of two studies of homelessness service users, comparing the implementation of two research tools: a shortened and a fuller one. The conclusions are that the factors identified are related to service use. The higher the collective esteem – esteem drawn from identification with services and their users and providers – and the less that they feel isolated, the more benefits that homeless people will perceive with service use, and in turn the more likely they are to be motivated to use services. However, the most important factors in explaining service use are a real sense that it is appropriate to accept social support from others, a rejection of the social identity as homeless but a cultivation of being valued as part of a non-homeless community, and a positive perception of the impact of the service.

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International Journal of Housing Policy