Immigrant homelessness in Portugal
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Immigrant homelessness in Portugal. Abstract id no: 2440718 Session Name: WS 156 Experiences of immigration Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012. Lisbon Catholic University Authors : Teresa Líbano Monteiro | [email protected]

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Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Immigrant homelessness in Portugal

Abstract id no: 2440718

Session Name: WS 156 Experiences of immigration

Social Work Social Development 2012:

Action and Impact conference

Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

LisbonCatholicUniversity

Authors:

Teresa Líbano Monteiro | [email protected]

Isabel Santos | [email protected]

Vanda Ramalho | [email protected]

Verónica Policarpo| [email protected]

PresentedBy:

Vanda Ramalho


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

This study is about the reality of immigrants-homelessness in Portugal, requested by the Portuguese Government with the aim to understand the phenomenon of immigrants-homelessness in Portugal, in order to identify their main patterns, and to draw the ideal type of their life course until they became homeless immigrants, and also the public policies in response to the phenomenon.

The presence of homeless immigrants in Portugal in the recent years shows signs of specifics social vulnerability.

A Portuguese Study (LNEC) in 2000 has already identified the reality of immigrants from the Eastern Europe and from Portuguese-speaking African countries as the 'new homeless' in Portugal, especially as a result of migration trends, from the job insecurity to the social rootlessness (LNEC, 2000).

In 2005, 35% of the homeless population in Portugal was immigrant.

In fact, immigrants constitute a new profile of the homeless and the study of the homeless conducted by the Portuguese Social Security, is divided into two subgroups: European immigrants (10%) and immigrants coming from the Portuguese-speaking African countries (25%) (ISS, 2005).


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

This study adopted the Portuguese national concept of homeless person that correspond to the first two ETHOS typologies of FEANTSA: the homeless and houseless conditions.

The research questions are: why this population became immigrants? Why these immigrants became homeless?To answer these questions this research uses a hypothetical-deductive methodology.

Firstly, we made a survey, at a national level, with the aim to know the phenomenon in an extensive perspective, to discover the profile and the patterns of this social problem.

Secondly, this study contains 20 in-depth interviews with immigrants-homelessness in Lisbon, which help us, in a comprehensive logical, to draw the ideal type of the life-course, as of the beginning of the migration up to homelessness condition.

In a quantitative analysis of the Homeless Immigrants in Portugal we find some characterization data. From a total of 742 answered surveys, 680 were validated.

The overwhelming majority of individuals in the sample is monitored in institutions in the district of Lisbon, the capital of the country (75.6%, n = 514).


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Despite the growing feminization of migration, the overwhelming majority of individuals in the sample are men (90.3%). The vast majority is concentrated in the age groups between 26 and 55 years old, while individuals between 36 and 45 gather 35% of responses.

Regarding education, the majority has as basic level (37%) or lower (6% has no education at all). Only 17% of the sample has the secondary level and a minority holds either a higher education degree (6%) or a technical-professional one (5%). 

Figure 1 - Age distribution of homeless immigrant population (percentages) (n = 680)

Figure 2 - Level of education of homeless immigrant population in Portugal (n = 680)


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Most individuals in the sample come from, and are nationals of Portuguese Speaking African Countries and it should also be noted that half of respondents did not have legal documentation (50.4%, n = 343)Considering the working status, the overwhelming majority of respondents is unemployed, having no source of earned income from professional activity (88.9%, n = 544). Of those employed, the majority holds precarious jobs.

Variables such as being sick or being unemployed contribute to this profile.

Figure 3 - Nationality and country of origin of immigrants homeless (n = 680)

Figure 4 - Labor situation of immigrants homeless in Portugal (frequencies in proportion n = 612)


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

In the context of the 20 interviews conducted in the city of Lisbon to people that shared both conditions of being immigrants and homeless, it was possible to construct two ideal-types.

Firstly, the homeless immigrants, who configure social situations and pathways of traditional social disaffiliation, common to the homeless in general, as a result and a final stage of structural and normative or of individual processes of exclusion.We find 3 Homeless Immigrant sub-typologies:

Figure 5 – Homeless Immigrant typologies


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Among immigrants whose situation was typified as 'legal-economic exclusion' all interviewees have different nationalities, which may suggest that this type of exclusion can affect anyone, since nationality doesn't seem to be a determining factor.

The second group corresponds to the ideal-type 'affective disaffiliation'. It’s represented in this study by two cases, both from Portuguese Speaking African Countries.

In these cases, the dominant factor in homelessness was not the fact that they are immigrants. Their successful migratory pathway crumbled after a marital breakdown and later with disruptions in family and sociability networks.

In the third group, typified as situations of 'mental-physical incapacitation', we found two stories of individuals to whom the migration project was going well, but then they were suddenly affected by health problems.


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Secondly, It was also possible to find a second set of typical situations that corresponds to the group of individuals whose situation of homelessness directly depends on the immigrant condition - the homeless immigrants - whose homelessness situation coincides with the ones of compulsive, impulsive or combative immigration.

In this cases we find 3 sub-typologies too:

Figure 6 – Immigrants-Homelessness typologies


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

These ideal-types reveal a situation of destitution, simultaneous to a disaffiliation process.

These people were led to a coercive emigration, due to several reasons, such as illness (their own or family members’), lack of employment opportunities or of fundamental rights (such as the right to security).

It is at the arrival to the host country that these people become homeless.

Among the group of respondents whose situation was typified as 'compulsive immigration', we find only women.

For respondents who integrate this ideal-type, emigration was a compulsive process, especially related to health problems of their own or their descendants, forced them to leave their country and migrate to Portugal, searching for specialized medical care.

The conditions of economic deprivation that they met in the host country, together with the absence of a network of social and/or family support, made them depend on social institutions for accommodation, food and other basic needs, in Portugal. We can still find two other situations of compulsive immigration: one caused by an "escape from the country of origin” and another related to "human trafficking" networks.


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

The second group corresponds to the ideal-type 'impulsive immigration'. It’s represented in this study by 2 cases: one from Russia and another from Senegal. Both are in an irregular situation since they migrated to Portugal.

They are trained for work, but the act of emigrating and the destination country itself were held by "impulse", based in the precarious living conditions in the country of origin and not in the conditions offered by the host country.

In the third group, typified as 'combative immigration' we find the history of an individual of 65 years, from Guinea-Bissau, which tries insistently to (re)acquire Portuguese nationality, voluntarily enduring a homeless situation until he achieves his purpose.

This is actually a "false immigrant", since he was born in Guinea-Bissau with Portuguese nationality, but who was deprived of that citizenship right after the Portuguese revolution in 1974.


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Concluding,themostsignificant scientific discovery of this study is found in the two ideal-type outlined above. However, a purely quantitative study could not lead, in the same way, to these ideal-type that allow generating a new light on the phenomenon.

A homeless person in an immigrant condition (homeless-immigrants) is different from an immigrant person who becomes homelessness (immigrants-homeless). These two different realities require different policies and interventions:

- policies that should be developed taking advantage of the national programs already in operation i.e. Homelessness National Strategy, for the homeless immigrants and the National Plan for Immigrants Integration for the immigrants-homeless.


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Social Work Social Development 2012: Action and Impact conference |Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

Immigrant Homelessness in Portugal

Bibliography

Castel, R. (1995) Les métamorphoses de la question sociale [The metamorphoses of the social question]. (Paris: Fayard).

Costa, A. B.; Baptista, I. (2002) Migrações e os sem-abrigo[Migration and the homeless]. (Brussels: FEANTSA).

ISS, IP (2005) Estudo dos sem-abrigo [Portuguese Social Security Homeless Study]. (Lisboa: ISS, IP).

ISS, IP (2008) Estratégia nacional para a integração das pessoas sem-abrigo 2009-2015 - ENSA [Portuguese Homelessness National Strategy]. (Portugal: ISS, IP).

LNEC (2000), Análise longitudinal dos sem-abrigo em Lisboa. A situação em 2000, Relatório final [Longitudinal analysis of homelessness in Lisbon. The situation in 2000, Final Report]. (Lisboa: Ministério do Equipamento Social).

Maxwell, J. (1999) La modélisation de la recherche qualitative. Une approche interactive [Modeling of qualitative research. An interactive approach]. (Fribourg: Editions Universitaires Fribourg Suisse).

Monteiro, T. L. (2005) Famílias e novos movimentos religiosos. Trajectória familiar, individualização e identidade espiritual. Tese de doutoramento [Families and new religious movements. Family Trajectories, individuation and spiritual identity. PhD thesis]. (Lisboa; ISCTE) (non-edited).

Soulet, M-H. (2002) Gérer sa consommation. Drogues dures et enjeu de conventionalité [Managing its consumption. Hard drugs and issues of conventionality]. (Fribourg: Éditions Universitaires Fribourg Suisse).

Weber, M. (1913, 2003) Quanto ao sentido de uma sociologia compreensiva [The sense of a comprehensive sociology], in: Rés (ed) Fundamentos de Sociologia [Fundamentals of Sociology], P II.(Porto: Rés), pp. 81-132.


Immigrant homelessness in portugal

Immigrant homelessness in Portugal

Abstract id no: 2440718

Session name: WS 156 Experiences of immigration

Social Work Social Development 2012:

Action and Impact conference

Stockholm, 08-12 July 2012

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