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Meh study: question guide for ki interviews introduction

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Who we are, what were interested in i.e.

  • What your organisation does, services it supplies

  • Particular priorities in the way you work with homeless people

  • Your views on the causes of homelessness and social exclusion

  • How your organisation/service interacts with MELPs

  • Ways in which encounters with your services may help alleviate the social exclusion of users/prevent homelessness

Stress ESRC funded independent academic work.

PI sheet been given and read?

Consent form signed

Outline and emphasise informed consent and anonymity ask if required

Do they want their org identified?

OK to record for transcription?

NB Check and request what info is available in printed/electronic form to save time in interview

Q1: Ask about:

Their position with org/service

Brief outline of orgs role

How did the service come about/emerge?

To whom are services provided and on what basis?

Get at background info/statistics

Prompts: Please outline the sort of work your org does?

Could you outline your position within XXXXX?

How would you describe this organisation’s role?

How is the org funded?

Do you have any performance targets/indicators that you have to hit in order to maintain funding?

Any conditions attached to your funding, any time limits?

How many users needs do you service at any one time?

Could you describe a typical client who might use your service?

Q2: How might a homeless person come to make use of your services?

Prompts: Referral, where from? Why? Who by?

Present themselves?

Actively sought out by service?
How do you make homeless people aware of your services?
Or for mainstream non ‘homeless industry’ service providers
Q3: Do homeless users present any specific challenges for your organisation?

Prompts: Get them to outline what they are

Failure to engage with service on offer

Lack of required attendance

Anti-social/disorderly behaviour

Lack of address

Q4: What do you think are the key factors that cause homelessness among your users?

What sort of issues do your users present with?

Describe a typical homeless user of your service?

Prompts: Financial problems: debt, loss of home due to unemployment, default on mortgages, eviction for rent arrears

Family/relationship breakdown: domestic violence, inability to cope with demands of family life, running away from home, abuse

Trauma: PTSD

Substance use/abuse: alcohol drugs

Shifts in institutional settings: leaving forces, entering/leaving hospital, leaving care

Lack of supportive networks

Q5: Are there any particular aspects of your users’ lives that you feel are/may perpetuate their homelessness and or continuing exclusion?

Prompts: Lack of material resources/poverty

Continuing substance drug abuse

Mental/physical ill health

Lack of coping/life skills

Lack of paid work opportunities

Negative networks of MEH i.e. homeless culture

Unwillingness to make a change

Lack of available suitable accommodation

Q6: What are the main priorities for organisation/service?

What do you see as the primary role for your organisation/service?

Prompts: Providing emergency accommodation

Keeping people of the streets,

Providing training and skills to connect people to PLM

Training and support,

Reshousing people –long-term

Tackling substance abuse/addition problems

Supporting vulnerable tenants

Reducing or managing crime/disorder

treatment of underlying mental or physical health issue

Floating support/outreach

Q7: Do you have a particular way of dealing with the homeless people who present themselves to you?

Any specific training manuals/codes of practice e.g. H&S, equality provisions, risk assessment etc. about how you work with homeless people?

How do you make homeless people aware of your services?

Why do you prioritise that particular issue/approach?

What’s the rationale behind making XXXX the priority in your work?

Q8: What are the key things you are trying to achieve in work with homeless people?

Prompts: Change problematic behaviour

Rehouse people

Provide basic shelter/sustenance

Keep people off the streets

Stop people offending

Hit targets

Q9: How successful are you in achieving your aims with MEHPs?

Can you identify what it is your organisation is doing that may explain your level of success?

Prompts: evidence
Q10: How if at all could you improve your current service provision?

Prompts: Reach more clients

Get more funding

Change the way you work
NB remember to ask for protocols, rules, regulatory frameworks etc. under which the service is provided
Q11: Does your org. work to any particular rules and regulations?

Prompts: Which ones?

Specific to a particular policy initiative/funding stream

Q12: Do you make any demands on users of your service(s)?

Prompts: Contracts, compacts

Reciprocal/conditional arrangements

Attendance at treatment/therapy

Abstinence from substance use

Non violence

Drug tests

Anything goes
Q13: What happens if somebody breaks the rules?

Prompts: A second chance or end game

Do you turn anyone away permanently?


Is there anything else you would like to add or discuss?

Do you have any questions for me?



Some, prompts, checks reminders for interviewer etc.

Can you give me an example..??

Ask for more details…??

Can I ask you to say a bit more about…???

So if I understand you correctly…repeat summary of a key point /issues

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