Swimming upstream: The strengths of women who survive homelessness

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A study of the strengths and personal resources of women who had overcome homelessness revealed that the experience of homelessness for these women was a temporary state of disruption resulting from an effort to free themselves from conditions associated with despair, such as abuse or addictions, and to search for a better life. Personal, interpersonal, and transpersonal categories of strengths were identified that enabled these women to move in a positive direction toward health and self-actualization. The synthesizing metaphor “swimming up-stream” describes the stoic determination required to go against the overwhelming negative forces of their environment.

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