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Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
Routes to Home: Homelessness and Home-making in Contrasting Societies
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It is not possible to understand the full experience and meaning of homelessness without examining the relative meanings and experiences of home. Being at home is more than having adequate shelter and is as much about being placed in a particular social world. This paper explores ways in which processes of home-making and the goal of home may form part of a route to belonging for disadvantaged groups who share a marginalised place in their respective societies. To examine these ideas, data from empirical case studies from two contrasting contexts are presented: homeless young people in London and Dublin and informal dwellers in Colombia. These cross-disciplinary studies offer insights into how it is possible to move from positions of relative social exclusion towards the goal of home and hence of belonging and acceptance. Central to this is an understanding of people's conceptions of home and the activities of home-making. (Authors)
Journal
2003
Habitat International
27
1
123-141