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The Meaning of Money: why homeless and vulnerable people see money as a route to security, respect and freedom


A Lemos&Crane report and workbook

Little research has been conducted on the attitudes towards money of homeless or vulnerable people, nor about their behaviour in handling money. This research conducted by Lemos&Crane in collaboration with Thames Reach with support from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation seeks to begin to fill that gap.

The story told in this report is not about the importance of having money per se. This report reflects the meaning of money in the eyes of the service users who have responded. And that meaning, which relates to both personal identity and aspiration, can be summarised in the following themes: (1) a life free from debt, (2) a secure life, (3) the means to earn respect from friends and family, (4) meeting short term goals for homeliness and comfort, (5) setting and meeting personal goals and aspirations, and (6) the feeling of freedom.

The workbook provides a set of 5 structured keyworking sessions. The approaches and questions are derived from the research methods and findings in the report.

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