Take Shelter in my Arms: A Narrative Study of Homeless Romantic Couples That Met and Resided at a Temporary Living Facility




Nevarez, Amanda M.

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The homeless represent a large and unique segment of society. At last count, they consisted of over half a million individuals spread throughout the country. Governmental statistics on the basic demographics of these individuals are abundant; however, information on their personal lives is much more limited. The counseling field also suffers from this same restricted view of homelessness. The majority of research in the field is primarily focused on the population's deficits (e.g., addiction or mental illness). Thus, there is a need to consider a different aspect of homelessness. Romance is an area to explore, as relationships are considered to be a vital part of individuals' well-being. The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of homeless romantic couples that met and resided at a temporary living facility. The narrative form of qualitative inquiry was used to describe and analyze the stories of six homeless romantic couples who met and resided at a temporary living facility. The couples discussed the advantages and challenges of their relationships, as well as other notable areas of their coupledom. Their stories were compared with relevant literature and contextualized with the study's guiding lens of Relational-Cultural Theory. The implications of the results on the counseling field as recommendations for future related research were presented.


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counseling, homeless, multiculturalism, narratology, Relational-Cultural Theory, romantic couple