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Homelessness And IDPs In Jamaica

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Date added: 19-03-26


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Literature Review While ID is a global crisis and various studies have been conducted on the persons who are affected by it in many countries. However, there are limited resources available for such persons in Jamaica and the terminology IDPs does not resonates with many Jamaicans. The Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) report of 2013 describes displaced persons as those that may have been placed at risk of poverty due to being separated from their means of livelihood or support.

The report further picks to the nuances of social, political, legal and other frames of reference that may apply to these persons inclusive of deportees/ IRMs, and ex-prisoners but not stranded visitors. The report states that these persons are unable to provide for their basic needs through their efforts, including employment, or because of other barriers to their freedom. With issues as these, persons often become homeless and either end up in a homeless shelter or on the street. (PIOJ 2013, pg 20 par 1,2) The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) posits that in the early 1990s internal displacement went on the international agenda and became recognised as an important issue of global concern.

It was only a subject that had neither clear definitions nor a normative framework that would be able to guide states and international humanitarian actors. While much improvement ismaking, there is room for greater accomplishment. http://www.internal-displacement.org/index.php/internal-displacement/history-of-internal-displacement (25/10/2018)

Belay Rehabilitation Centre posted an article stating that In addition to the effects of internal displacement, the negative experiences of evacuees in temporary shelters, "tent cities," and other evacuation centres (malnutrition, epidemics, physical assaults, and other human rights violations) produce adverse emotional and behavioural effects and psychological disorders. IDPs in Jamaica are affected in these as well especially the deportees/IRMs, ex-prisoners and stranded visitors.

Deportees / Involuntary Returned Migrants (IRMs)

Deportees are otherwise called involuntary returned migrants (IRMs),are defined in the IOM 2018 profile as those nationals abroad who are involuntarily returned to their country of birth following charges for offences committed (criminal and civil) in a country overseas and in which they have no citizenship status, although they may have lived there for many years. Many deportees have become homeless and displaced as they may have inadequate or no connection with family or friends in Jamaica. The PIOJ 2013 report postulates that the deportees often have difficulty reintegrating into the society. From a social protection perspective, deportees are open to risks of poverty not only because of the lack of sufficient family support systems, but also their risks of unemployment and low livelihood security, based on their circumstances.

Ex-prisoners

While crime can maybe excused and though everyone makes mistakes, being an ex-prisoner at times results in one becoming displaced. The PIOJ 2013 defines ex-prisoners as those who have been discharged (sentence only) and those who arereleased on parole. The report also states that ex-prisoners are a vulnerable group because of the potential to be or remain poor because of the challenges they face to be employed. They may become internally displaced if the crime they committed has turned community members against them, or their pride and fear for their own life. Henry-Lee 2005 reported that after being released from prison, ex-prisoners found life to be particularly challenging because rehabilitation in the nation's prisons is almost non-existent. Stranded Visitors Stranded visitors are aliens who have been visiting the island and have become homeless and internally displaced, they are not citizens of Jamaica.

They could be visiting the country for several reasons. These persons have come to the attention of the researcher because some became homeless and were found wandering the streets. Such persons are brought to homeless residential shelters by immigration officers who work with the Passport, Immigration & Citizenship Agency (PICA), or they may be referred by other agencies. There is no previous research that has been carried out on this set of persons. The researcher's own experience during 11 years of working with the homeless has challenged her to include this un-studied group in this research. Psychosocial Stressors Some psychosocial stressors that may affect these cohorts of IDPs include: - Homelessness - Unemployment - Estrangement from family - Absence of economic support - Absence of supportive legislation and policies - Stigma of imprisonment Theoretical Framework

The theoretical underpinning of this study will be based on two (2) theories, the ecological systems theory and capability approach. The ecological systems theory is a joint approach of ecological principles and the systems theory primary established by Bronfenbrenner in the 1970's as a theory of human development (Bronfenbrenner, 1994). From a Social Work viewpoint, the ecological systems theory place emphases on the 'person in the environment.' This theory will help to describe how the homeless internally displaced person and the environment are interactive and synergist exists with each other in ways that may simultaneously affect one another and different subsystems in their environment (Weiss-Gal, 2008). The Ecological Systems Theory This theory postulates that the 'best fit' between the homeless IDP's and their environment, results when they are connected and engaged within a supportive environment which assists in their functioning. Bronfenbrenner conceptualized that a person's progression is affected by their surrounding environment. He segmented the individual's environment into five different levels; this research will only focus on three--the microsystem, the mesosystem, and the macro-system.

Capability Approach (CA)

The capability approach (CA) initially proposed by Sen in 1979 succeeded the basic needs approach. Sen 1999a and Nussbaum 2001 expounded CA theory to enhance the assessment of individual needs, along with the evaluation of social provisions and the impact of policies and how they may affect social transformation. The capability approach to a person's advantage is concerned with evaluating it regarding his or her actual ability to achieve various valuable functioning as a part of living. The corresponding approach to social advantage for aggregative appraisal as well as for the choice of institutions and policy takes the set of individual capabilities as constituting an indispensable and central part of the relevant informational base of such evaluation (Sen 1993: 30).

Capability approach, therefore, is a broad context for the assessment of human well-being and societal organizations, the formulation of policies and procedures in regards to changes in humanity. Therefore, the core focus of using this approach is to utilize its concept to assist in developing a positive change in the welfare of the homeless IDPs. Methodology Research Design A qualitative, multiple case study research (Creswell, 2007, p.74) will be employed with 30 adults male and female who experienced being homeless and internally displaced. Case studies are effective as they permit a wealthy, vigorous and a complete description of the phenomenon being investigated.

According to Baxter and Jack (2008) Case study research design principles lend themselves to including numerous strategies that promote data credibility or true value (p. 556). This type of research also answers those questions that are necessary to extrapolate information that is necessary for this study. A case study allows one to place boundaries around one's case to keep the case within a reasonable scope (Creswell, 2007, p.73). This study may be limited because only interviews will be conducted to gather data because of limited resources.

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