Users of Homelessness Support Services in France in 2001 and 2012: Contrasting Housing and Employment Trajectories

By Pascale Dietrich-Ragon, Delphine Remillon, Catriona Dutreuilh

Drawing on data from the INED–INSEE 2001 and 2012 Sans-domicile (homelessness) surveys, this article establishes a typology of the housing and employment trajectories of French-speaking users of homelessness support services. Most respondents are excluded from both the housing and employment markets. Some are actively looking for a job and a place to live, while others, such as migrants without work permits, appear trapped in limbo. Working but homeless respondents correspond to a particular profile: that of poor workers living in institutional accommodation. Our analysis of changes between 2001 and 2012 reveals the development of a three-tier accommodation system that partly overlaps with that of employment status: an emergency sector that takes in migrants and inactive single men; a stable housing sector for people with little or no short-term prospect of rejoining the labour market but who belong to categories targeted by housing policies (people with disabilities, retirees, women); and a ‘social integration’ hostel sector that provides accommodation, generally on a temporary basis, for people in work or actively seeking employment.

  • homelessness
  • housing trajectory
  • employment trajectory
  • poor workers
  • Sans-domicile surveys 2001 and 2012
  • France
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