Date: 08 Nov 2012

Untangling the Complex Needs of People Experiencing Gambling Problems and Homelessness

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Abstract

People with gambling problems are now recognised among those at increased risk of homelessness, and the link between housing and gambling problems has been identified as an area requiring further research. This paper discusses the findings of a qualitative study that explored the relationship between gambling problems and homelessness. Interviews and a focus group were conducted with 17 people experiencing gambling problems and homelessness, and 18 housing and gambling service providers. The study found that the multiple needs people with gambling and housing problems experience intensifies the complexity of issues they face. These multiple needs have an amplifying and accumulating outcome that compounds the negative effects of each other over time creating additional problems and barriers to resolution. While there can be significant challenges involved, this study suggests it is important to recognise, understand and untangle these complex issues and needs in order to implement effective strategies and assist beneficial change.