I spent the semester exploring the family structures of homeless men in Minneapolis through interviews and participant observation. Originally, I was curious if differences in family structures affected men before, during and after being in a state of homeless. Specifically, I asked men about their family situations growing up, as well as the families they've created as adults. Through interviews with informants I was hoping to discover connections between how family structures and relationships as a child affected their relationships today. By creating meaningful friendships with the homeless men and staff within in Minneapolis, I was able to make a great step in my research. The homeless community has stolen a part of my heart, resulting in why I want to research family structures and relations. By the end of my research I began to explore more than just family structures, but the importance and role of social support systems. There a gap in the professional research of homeless men. Many conclude that lack of a stable family contributes to being a state of homelessness. I believe that the importance of family and social support is bigger than a contributor to homelessness; it affects every aspect of their lives.
Prize Winner, Sociologists of Minnesota Caroline Rose Annual Student Paper Competition
Olson, Lauren, "Family Structures of Homeless Men" (2013). Social Work Student Works. 1.
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