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Impact of the lived experience of adverse childhood experiences on adult homelessness


Arlene Marcellette Smith


The purpose of this study was to offer multidimensional and situational insight into the impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) on chronic adult homelessness. Specifically, the study determined that survivors of ACEs have lived with mental diagnoses and chronic homelessness for most of their adult lives. The primary objective of this study was to fill a gap in the knowledge regarding the links between ACEs and chronic adult homelessness by examining the lived experiences of ACEs victims from their perspectives.

Following a qualitative research methodology, data were collected using semi-structured interviews that allowed participants to expound on their experiences, providing a thicker richer perspective of how ACEs are linked to chronic adult homelessness. Emphasis was placed on understanding and addressing the links between chronic adult homelessness and adverse childhood experiences. Participants
were selected from a purposive sample of chronically homeless adults who described their experiences in detail which offered critical insight for opportunities to understand and explain the challenges chronically homeless adults face during their daily lives.

This study underscores the necessity for evaluating and revising guidelines and policies that could significantly improve the quality of life for chronically homeless adults. The findings also offer guidance for policymakers, human services, and other helping professionals, suggesting that a combined effort to address chronic adult homelessness could significantly improve the outcomes of ACEs victims. Finally, these findings from this study could inform strategies to promote social change in the area of services to survivors of childhood trauma.

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