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Reading: Social inclusion for women experiencing homelessness


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Social inclusion for women experiencing homelessness


Jenna Richards ,

Western University , CA
About Jenna
Master of Science in Nursing, Western University
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Abe Oudshoorn,

Western University, CA
About Abe
Assistant Professor, Arthur Labatt Family School of Nursing, Western University
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Laura Misener

Western University, CA
About Laura
Director and Associate Professor, School of Kinesiology, Western University
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Background: People experiencing homelessness have been described as one of the most socially excluded groups (Everett 2009; Labonte, 2004), particularly homeless women (Wesely & Wright, 2005). Exploring the barriers and facilitators to social inclusion for women experiencing homelessness, in addition to their experience of sports, may provide the information required to increase their access to community activities and result in increased inclusion. Methods: Qualitative thematic analysis was used to explore women’s homelessness, social inclusion, and sports. Data was collected using semi-structured interviews with eleven women residing in a shelter. The data were analyzed for themes relating to the research questions. Findings: Four themes are proposed from the interviews: (a) poverty is exclusion, (b) housing is not (necessarily) a prerequisite for social inclusion, (c) women play sports, and (d) it’s just a piece of paper. These themes represent the barriers and facilitators of social inclusion that the participants experienced, as well as their experiences and interests in sports. Conclusion: The findings revealed that while women may be interested in sports as an opportunity to experience inclusion, they faced many barriers in accessing sports as a service for people experiencing homelessness. The findings of this study may inform organizational and government policy, and future research. Further intersectional research is needed to understand how gendered experiences of homelessness intersects for Indigenous or racialized persons.
How to Cite: Richards, J., Oudshoorn, A. and Misener, L., 2020. Social inclusion for women experiencing homelessness. Journal of Social Inclusion, 11(1), pp.39–52. DOI:
Published on 10 Aug 2020.
Peer Reviewed


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