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Homeless Hispanic and Non-Hispanic Adults on the Texas-Mexico Border
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This article contrasts the demographics, familial relationships, vocational backgrounds, and personal experiences of homeless Hispanic adults with non-Hispanic adults living in the southwest border region of the United States. Using the "point in time" technique, data were collected from 280 homeless adults (198 Hispanics and 82 non-Hispanics) in El Paso, Texas, in 1998. The data revealed that the Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups differed regarding their gender composition, language spoken, religious affiliation, educational experiences, and domiciles. The probability of individuals from the two groups who were married, had children, had relatives in the area, and had a medical problem differed. Similarly, the ratios of individuals who were migrant workers, and who worked at jobs that required skills also differed. In addition, the Hispanic and non-Hispanic groups were distinguishable by their reasons for being homeless, what they considered the most important service provided by shelters, and what gave them hope during difficult times. By outlining the uniqueness of homeless Hispanics and contrasting them to their non-Hispanic counterparts, this study provides a better insight into the characteristics of homeless persons who live in the southwest border region of the United States. (Authors)
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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services