This paper analyses destitution as a new and expressive notion in describing the multifaceted nature of essential poverty and severe social exclusion. The novel concept of destitution emerged in the social sciences to challenge the dominant neoliberal, income-based approach of poverty studies and to scrutinise poverty and social deprivation in
...a multi-layered dimension considering the lack of resources in the areas of the housing market, employment and family relationships, as well as in mental and physical health. Although destitution can also be described as the lack of individual biological and psychological resources, our paper primarily examines the socio-political, structural reasons lying behind the notion, focusing on two areas: social rights and entitlements for homeless people and undocumented migrants. Although the term ‘destitution’ incorporates multiple sociological, philosophical, economic and political dimensions, the current paper primarily applies the theoretical and practical approach of social work and social policy in conceptualising the notion.