Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Soc Sci Med. 2011 Mar;72(5):739-46. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2010.11.029. Epub 2010 Dec 14.

Making the invisible visible: a Photovoice exploration of homeless women's health and lives in central Auckland.

Author information

  • 1Department of General Practice and Primary Health Care, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland Mail Centre, Auckland 1142, New Zealand.


Women and the concept of homelessness are weakly connected in the international discourses on health and housing. This PhotoVoice study gave a sample of homeless women in central Auckland a camera with which to photograph their lives in order to voice their felt health needs as advocates and agents for positive change. Interviews explored the meanings given to street lives captured in the photographs and reveal threats to the women's mental health and worsening addictions. Their tight-knit, resilient community, including dogs, was seen as 'family' who provide support and protection. The women perceived social services as helping them survive and support their health, but not ending their homelessness. Barriers to them getting and staying off the street included a shortage of affordable, secure housing, which has also tended to become overcrowded. They identified their own leaders who could link with state housing services to implement and evaluate new homelessness programmes, such as Housing First.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center