Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name



Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology


Natalie Delia Deckard



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The existing literature has consistently established that homelessness is a status arrived at intersectionally (Calsyn and Morse 1991). Although the lack of adequate housing is a clear problem, the provision of housing may not solve the problems that may have contributed to rendering an individual homeless (Lenon, 2000). Downplaying the contributing factors, such as a lack of social capital, substance abuse, as well as the highly influential gendered inequalities of a male-dominated society that economically and socially disadvantaged women, allows for the problem of chronic homelessness to persist (Calsyn and Morse, 1991; Lenon, 2000). This research study explores gender, policy, and homelessness by examining the impact of the neoliberal implementation of Housing First principles on chronically homeless women. In this research, I ask whether this implementation contributes to chronic homelessness in women. Given the existing literature on the structural determinants of homelessness, I hypothesize for this Master’s thesis that neoliberal practice in an ostensibly Housing First-oriented shelter contributes to chronic homelessness in women. This research employs qualitative methods. I have conducted an autoethnography at a Housing First emergency shelter through my position as Shelter Support Staff. I have documented my experience as an employee of this shelter, noting my interactions with fellow staff members and clients accessing the shelter services. These experiences have then been coded into four categories: Substance Use, Trauma, Excessively Forceful, and Willingness and Preparation to be Housed. Analysis of these themes support my hypothesis in demonstrating the impact of neoliberal practices.

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