About Us

WHEN (Women’s Homelessness in Europe Network) is a collaboration and network for researchers, policy makers and service professionals who have an interest in women’s homelessness.

People who are part of WHEN contribute to discussion and debate about women’s homelessness across Europe and beyond. They share knowledge and information and have opportunities to disseminate and generate discussion on issues that can have a direct impact on policy and practice.

The information and resources disseminated through this site will be of use to researchers, policy makers and statutory and non-statutory organisations who are seeking recent published research and statistics on women’s homelessness and who are interested in hearing from colleagues who wish to share their perspectives on women’s homelessness.

Our Aims

The core objectives of the network are:

  • To enhance the understanding of issues at the core of women’s homelessness.
  • To foster international collaborative research on gender dimensions of homelessness.
  • To promote and develop academic scholarship and to generate practical and policy relevant research.
  • To facilitate the dissemination of research, analysis and debate on women and homelessness.

WHEN was developed in response to a lack of research and policy attention to gender dimensions of homelessness. Research has highlighted issues such as the disproportionate rates at which lone women parents experience homelessness and the clear association between gender-based violence and women’s homelessness. However, the evidence base on these and other aspects of homelessness is inconsistent, incomplete and sometimes outdated and there is also a distinct lack of international comparative analysis of gender within homelessness research.

WHEN seeks to highlight and address gaps in current thinking and research related to women’s homelessness. Key issues, among others, include insufficient understanding of women’s experiences of long-term or recurrent homelessness and women’s experience of homelessness through the life-course, spanning from homelessness experienced during childhood/adolescence to homelessness experienced in later life. The wider associations between gender, poverty and housing exclusion are also within WHEN’s sphere of interest.

An important recently achieved goal of WHEN was the publication of Women’s Homelessness in Europe, which assesses the state of knowledge on women’s homelessness. This collection of papers is co-edited by Paula Mayock and Joanne Bretherton and published by Palgrave MacMillan.

In the medium term, WHEN plans to organise an international conference that will aim to share and disseminate research findings and promote comparative perspectives on women’s homelessness. In the short-term and right now, WHEN welcomes your participation as an Associate Member and also invites ‘Think Pieces’ on women’s homelessness.

Background And Membership

WHEN was founded by Dr. Paula Mayock, School of Social Work and Social Policy, Trinity College Dublin (TCD), in 2012 with the support of funding from the Irish Research Council’s ‘New Ideas’ Award. The Network is now jointly directed by Dr. Paula Mayock (TCD) and Joanne Bretherton, Centre for Housing Policy (CHP), University of York.

The network currently has a core membership of fifteen academics from eleven EU countries and includes representation from Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK. If you are a researcher, academic, policy maker or service professional with an interest in women’s homelessness, you can now become an Associate Member of WHEN by simply completing and submitting a short form.

The sponsors of the WHEN currently include the Irish Research Council, University of York, Dublin Region Homeless Executive (DRHE) and Focus Ireland.

Our Sponsors

Irish Research Council
University of York
Dublin Region Homeless Executive
Focus Ireland