Introduction: Themed Section on Exploring Multiple Exclusion Homelessness

Peter Dwyer, Peter Somerville

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review


Many of New Labour's welfare initiatives were underpinned by a stated desire to combat social exclusion among disadvantaged sections of the population. Allied to this, a commitment to end street homelessness/rough sleeping was an enduring feature of their term in office (for example SEU, 1998; DCLG, 2008). Of course, concerns about social exclusion predate New Labour, and a lack of meaningful involvement in many key areas of wider social life (for example, democratic and legal systems, the labour market, the welfare state, familial and (local) community networks) have long been identified as symptomatic of social exclusion (Commins, 1993). Previous research has also noted that homelessness rarely occurs in isolation and that many homeless people often carry with them a variety of other problems and experiences. It is clear that many homeless people experience ‘exclusion across more than one domain or dimension of disadvantage, resulting in severe negative consequences for [their] quality of life, well-being and future life chances’ (Levitas et al., 2007: 9), and, as such, can be viewed as experiencing multiple and/or deep social exclusion. This situation has been recognised by Carter (2007) who, noting a lack of resources, rights and opportunities, adopts the phrase ‘multiple exclusion homelessness’ (MEH) as a shorthand term to characterise the reality of many homeless peoples’ lives.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-500
Number of pages5
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number4
Early online date5 Aug 2011
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011



Cite this