Using PhotoVoice to understand health determinants of formerly-homeless individuals living in permanent housing in Detroit


Housing First is an evidence-based approach to addressing chronic homelessness that provides permanent, low-barrier housing. Previous literature on the health of tenants of Housing First programs has primarily focused on mental health, substance use, and health care. Using the social-ecological model, we conducted a community-based participatory research (CBPR) PhotoVoice study to better understand what Housing First residents in Detroit identify as factors that impact their health. Seventeen participants were provided cameras and photography training and asked to take photos on the theme “What impacts your health and wellness?” Group sessions were held to discuss photos. Results were organized into four themes: (a) loss of jobs hurts people and communities; (b) blight, more than just abandoned buildings; (c) being pushed out by development; and (d) experiencing the “battlefield” versus feeling peaceful. The social-ecological model was used to indicate potential interventions indicated by study findings.



Community-based programs, Community and public health, Determinants of health, Homelessness, Poverty, Equality, Inequality, Urban issues, Qualitative, Photovoice, United States


Cheezum, R. R., Rosso, M. T., Niewolak, N., & Cobb, T. (2018). Using PhotoVoice to Understand Health Determinants of Formerly Homeless Individuals Living in Permanent Housing in Detroit. Qualitative Health Research.