PHYSICAL AND SPORTS ACTIVITIES AS A MEANS TO FIGHT SOCIAL ISOLATION OF HOMELESS YOUTH
“If integration through sport has sometimes been scientifically demonstrated in certain circumstances, what about the integrating effects of sport and PSA with young homeless people? And what are the conditions ?”
A device at the service of the most deprived youth
The first goal here is to study the application of a territorial public policy which proposes the implementation of physical and sports activities in an already existing social reintegration system for a population in a situation of great vulnerability: young homeless people. If the objective of the device is the search for being, for better-being or even for well-being in order to favour the reintegration of this population, even to the point of looking for a job, the objective of the study lies rather in the analysis of the device put in place: to inform the integrating effects and the springs of a truly socio-sportive collaborative device. In other words, does the system set up in partnership with associations in the medico-social sector actually benefit the most disadvantaged young people and under what conditions?
Wining the Trust of Homeless Youth
This research is based primarily on an observational survey and biographical interviews at the locations of homeless youth. It therefore concerns the frequentation of associations that welcome young homeless people. Two associations were identified: the Association d’aide aux sans-abris (ASA), which is a day center, and 4AJ, which is a shelter and social reintegration center. One of the specificities that will eventually prove to be a difficulty is the fact that people frequent these structures, especially the day care center, on an irregular basis: some are just passing through while others have been frequenting this place for several years. Another difficulty envisaged is the approach to these people for the biographical interviews. This will require, first of all, a prolonged presence of the researcher in the field in order to “gain” a certain trust from them.
Understanding the drivers of inclusion
This research is useful for evaluating the system and its effects: improving services, practices and the quality of life of people. It is therefore necessary to understand what works, what doesn’t work and what doesn’t work in the system in order to adjust it and make it sustainable. For the social actors, for the project leaders, it is a question of testing their strategy of taking care of vulnerable groups, including young people, and of verifying its effectiveness. If the project proves to be effective, it could be extended to new territories and/or new groups such as refugees or women who have been victims of violence. Also, tracing the careers of homeless youth participating or not in the program will first provide knowledge about how they came to be in this situation. With this knowledge, it may be possible to identify “at-risk” youth during the numerous interventions of sports educators with different populations.
After obtaining a Master’s degree STAPS in Management and management of sports and leisure organizations, Julie Duflos undertook a doctoral thesis, under the direction of Williams Nuytens and Oumaya Hidri Neys, at the University of Artois which she defended in November 2021. While her doctoral research focused on the persistence of discrimination in hiring based on physical appearance, her research is now more oriented towards the study of the effects of physical and sports activities on people in highly vulnerable situations.