Between the immigrant and the homelessness condition: challenges of a phenomenon in the Portuguese social reality

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This presentation is based on an exploratory study conducted in Portugal between March and November 2010, aiming to understand the phenomenon of people who are, simultaneously, immigrant and homeless in Portuguese society. The implementation of a national survey allowed designing a profile, as well as understanding the main patterns of this phenomenon. In turn, the interviews allowed, in a comprehensive logical, outline the ideal-type way of life of homeless immigrants, since their migration project until the condition of homelessness. We identified two distinct categories: the «homeless immigrants» and the «immigrants homeless». In the first situation, we found a homeless person, who is also an immigrant, i.e., his condition is not directly dependent to his immigration status: there are many similarities between his life path until the current condition and the journey of a Portuguese citizen who is in the same circumstances. His situation of homelessness always occurs after the immigrant condition, resulting from a life journey marked by social exclusion processes following a successful phase of the migratory process. In the second group, we found cases in which immigration status depends on the situation of homelessness, matching with the arrival at the Portuguese territory. The study results allow us to define some challenges to public policies and social intervention developed in Portugal, in order to prevent and minimize the vulnerability and extreme destitution that affects people who are simultaneously in the condition of immigrant and homelessness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocial action in Europe
Subtitle of host publicationsustainable social development and economic challenges
EditorsPam Green Lister, Robin Sen
Place of PublicationGlasgow
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventEuropean Network for Social Action (ENSACT) 2011 - Bruxelas, Belgium
Duration: 10 Apr 201113 Apr 2011


ConferenceEuropean Network for Social Action (ENSACT) 2011


  • Immigrants
  • Homelessness
  • Social exclusion
  • Public policies
  • Social intervention


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