Homelessness, Behavioral Health Disorders and Intimate Partner Violence: Barriers to Services for Women
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Homeless women comprise a significant portion of the homeless population and may encounter multiple life stressors including mental illness, substance abuse, and trauma. Women who are homeless may experience difficulty gaining access to resources such as shelter and health care. In addition, the interaction of behavioral health problems with intimate partner violence (IPV) may create extraordinary barriers to their engagement in services. This paper explores the co-occurrence of homelessness, behavioral health problems, and IPV and lessons learned through a gender-specific homeless services program designed to reach women who are unengaged in traditional services. Recommendations for providing gender-responsive services are discussed.
KeywordsHomeless women Intimate partner violence Gender-responsive services Homeless services
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