How to enhance social participation and well-being in (formerly) homeless clients: A structural equation modelling approach

M. Rutenfrans*, T. Van Regenmortel, R. Schalk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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In the present study we examined care-related and demographic predictors of well-being among 225 (formerly) homeless clients of a Dutch organisation providing shelter services and ambulatory care (shelter facility). The role of social participation as a mediator was considered. Social participation is important for homeless people, as they are often socially isolated. Moreover, social participation enhances well-being and induces happiness. In this study we used the following care-related predictors: (1) participation in various group activities in the shelter facility, and (2) client's experiences with care, such as their satisfaction with the social worker and the shelter facility. Additionally, age and education level were included as demographic predictors. Results from Structural Equation Modelling show that the client's experiences with care and education level are predictors of well-being with a mediating role for social participation, and that participation in activities at the shelter facility is a direct predictor of well-being. However, age is not significantly related to social participation or well-being. We suggest that interventions for the homeless should be based on a combination of individual and group approaches. Special attention should be given to the client-worker relationship. We also recommend that vulnerable children are provided with solid education, and we call for research into the cost-effectiveness of group-based interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-348
JournalSocial Indicators Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Homelessness
  • Social participation
  • Well-being
  • Experiences with care
  • Participation in activities
  • Education level


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