A qualitative study into the psychosocial well-being of Durban's homeless youth.
This study explored the experiences of a sample of six male and four female homeless youth living on the streets of Durban, South Africa. It focused on their concepts of 'home' and their ideas around homelessness, as well as on the psychosocial and contextual factors that support their resilience and coping. In this qualitative study, participants were interviewed utilising a semi-structured interview schedule. Data were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Two main themes emerged around the idea of 'home', namely family and belonging, and safety and protection. Homelessness was rejected as an undesirable way of life by all participants. Drug use and, particularly, violence were found to be endemic, with several allegations of violence and harassment made against the Durban Metro Police. Intrapersonal (physical and emotional strength, and religiosity/spirituality), Interpersonal (help from peers) and Community Resource factors (help from the public, sport and help from organisations for street children) emerged as factors contributing towards resilience in the sample.