Randi Ervik, Knut Tore Sælør and Stian Biong

To seize the moment

Homelessness is correlated with both mental health and substance related problems, and many homeless people stay in temporary accommodation for long periods of time. National guidelines emphasize locally based and interdisciplinary measures where collaboration regarding the individual recovery processes, improving quality of life and a sense of coherence are considered to be essential. Our study was conducted at a low threshold accommodation centre for homeless men. The environmental staff possesses unique experiential knowledge about collaborating with residents and this knowledge should be described. The study has a descriptive and interpretive design. Data were collected in three focus group interviews with 18 employees. The recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed using a phenomenological hermeneutical approach. The findings indicate that the environmental staff had unpredictable and challenging workdays. Experiences of collaboration were gathered under three themes: employees' knowledge, traits and experience, the spontaneous and informal, conditions staff are unable to influence. We interpreted the common theme of the focus group interviews as being to seize the moment.