Housing Inequality and Unsheltered Persons in Atlanta

This guide provides resources to assist with research & instruction that focuses on housing and unhoused persons in Atlanta and the surrounding area.

What's in a Name?

Terminology used to describe housing inequality has progressed over time, but it's important to consider previously used terms to help you find sources published in the past. For example: housing, homelessness, homeless persons, workhouses, shelters, poorhouses, and housing status.

Can you think of any other terms that may have been used to describe the population of people affected by housing inequality in Atlanta?

Learn more here:

Getting Started with Research

Research by GSU Students & Faculty

ScholarWorks@GSU includes faculty publications as well as theses & dissertations on the topic of housing & homelessness. ScholarWorks  is an Open Access repository available for free, unrestricted, and online.

New Publications in ScholarWorks:

Selected Publications in ScholarWorks:
  • Arce, K. (2018). Predicting client housing outcomes from Georgia's homeless management information system with hierarchical generalized linear modeling. [Thesis, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/12047782
  • Cowan, B.A. (2007). Trauma exposure and behavioral outcomes in sheltered homeless children: The moderating role of perceived social support. [Dissertation, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/1059917
  • Crowe, L. (2012). Medical-surgical nurses' attitudes toward patients who are homeless: How attitudes develop and transform. [Dissertation, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/3042522
  • Holland, W.W. (2009).Who is my neighbor?: Framing Atlanta's movement to end homelessness, 1900-2005. [Dissertation, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/1229398 
  • McGrail, E., Tinker Sachs, G., Lewis Ellison, T., Dukes, N.D., & Zackery, K. (2018). "Homeless adults, technology and literacy practices." Journal of Literacy and Technology, 19(2), 50-98. http://www.literacyandtechnology.org/uploads/1/3/6/8/136889/jlt_v19_number_2_winter18_mcgrail_sachs_ellison_zackery.pdf
  • Parker, J.L. (2012). Self-concepts of homeless people in an urban setting: Processes and consequences of the stigmatized identity. [Dissertation, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/2766181
  • Tsukerman, K. (2019). How ties to professional support networks impact social outcomes among homeless youth. [Thesis, Georgia State University.] https://doi.org/10.57709/14278455
  • Wright, E., Attell, B.K., and Ruel, E. (2017). "Social support networks and the mental health of runaway and homeless youth." GHPC Articles, 140. https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/ghpc_articles/140
  • Wright, E., LaBoy, A., Turner, M., Forge, N., Wallace, C., Darkwa, A., Tsukerman, K., Webb, Z., Higbee, M., & Shelby, R. (2019). "Atlanta youth count 2018 community report: The prevalence of sex and labor trafficking among homeless youth in Metro Atlanta." Sociology Faculty Publications, 11..https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/sociology_facpub/11
  • Wright, E, Ruel, E, Fuoco, M.J, Trouteaud, A., Sanchez, T., LaBoy, A., Myers, H., Tsukerman, K., Vidmar, C., Gayman, M., Forge, N., Smalls-Glover, C., Anderson, C., & Hartinger-Saunders, R. (2016). "Atlanta youth count 2015: Homeless youth count and needs assessment." Sociology Faculty Publications, 12.  https://scholarworks.gsu.edu/sociology_facpub/12

Literature Review Search Advice

1. Start by selecting terms that represent your core topic.

Try starting with: "homeless" or "housing." 

Variants on the term "homeless" include: "unsheltered persons," "unhoused persons," "homeless persons" and "homeless adults."
Variants on the term "housing" include: "affordable housing," "urban housing," and "housing needs." 

2. Then, narrow your scope by selecting terms that are specific to your research focus.

Examples might be: "homeless veterans," "housing policy," "public housing, or "red lining." 

Try browsing the subject headings for "homeless" and "housing" to help you brainstorm. These headings are used to categorize books in our library for ease of access.

You can consult a reference guide, like Homelessness in America: The History of an Intractable Social Problem (2022) by Stephen Eide. Chapter 1 explores the complex history of the term "homeless" to help you evaluate the terms you choose.

You can also consult a thesaurus or Wikipedia as well.

3. Now, combine terms into a developed search strategy.
  • Use quotations around specific phrases. ex. "public housing"
  • Connect terms with either OR or AND.
    • Use OR to instruct the database to provide you with results relating to EITHER of the terms you enter. ex. rural OR suburban
    • Use AND to instruct the database to provide you only with results relating to BOTH of the terms you enter. ex. "public housing" AND employment.
  • Use parentheses to group related terms together. ex. ("homeless veterans" OR "homeless adults")
  • Use an asterisk to request results that include various forms of a root word. ex. homeless*
  • Use NOT to instruct the database to filter out specific terms. ex. (NOT "housing market")
4. Enter your search strategy into specific databases to request lists of resources relating to your topic.

Suggested databases can be found in the box below.

You might have to tweak your search terms slightly for different databases. For example, PubMed is a database that allows you to identify medical research topics using standardized MeSH terminology.

After you enter your search terms, review your results to determine:

  • Are they relevant to your research?
  • Do you need to broaden or narrow your scope?
  • Are your search terms appropriate for your research topic?
5. Finally, limit your results further by using the filters available in each database. Consider:
  • Should you narrow it by adding demographic terms, like age or gender?
  • Should you narrow it to a specific date range?
  • Should you narrow it to a specific location?
  • Should your sources come from only scholarly journals?
  • Should you limit it to sources in a specific language or format?

Recommended Databases for Scholarly or Empirical Literature

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