Homeless women and their families: Characteristics, life circumstances, and needs

Mukti Khanna, Nirbhay N. Singh, Mary Nemil, Al Best, Cynthia R. Ellis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


This study investigated the needs of a sample of 100 women from shelters for the homeless in Richmond, Virginia. The women's responses to a 117-item interview were used to obtain information regarding their domicilary status, work history, educational background, family and health history, social support, reasons for homelessness, and social service needs. The results indicated that a significant number of the women had moved as many as six times within the past five years for various reasons, including domestic violence, interpersonal conflict, overcrowding, and eviction. Many women were high school graduates and had job skills in the health care, educational, and clerical fields. Most women were raised by their natural or extended family and the majority of them had a friend or family member who provided social support. Identified needs included housing, food, clothing, and transportation. The needs of homeless women and their children were different from the needs of the homeless chronically mentally ill and require specialized services as well as an increase in the available number of low-income housing units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Child and Family Studies
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • family history
  • health history
  • homeless women
  • service needs
  • social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Homeless women and their families: Characteristics, life circumstances, and needs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this