Resource: Pathways out of Homelessness

Pathways out of homelessness is a research report compiled in 2015 in the City of Tshwane. SPF shares the report here as a resource.

Extract from the introduction:

“Pathways out of homelessness is the focus, the interest, and the commitment of the collaborative research project described in this Research Report. It is a research project with a difference.
The first phase is complete, but the interest and momentum generated in the process has indicated the merit of it becoming a long-term collaboration. It has the potential to help permanently change the reality of street homelessness in the City of Tshwane.
The project is articulating theories on homelessness and generating new knowledge, but not for the sake of theorising or knowledge production. It is interested rather in retrieving different kinds of knowledge that could help generate innovative solutions and just alternatives to the status quo.
It is generating evidence on the ways in which the face of homelessness is changing in the City of Tshwane, and nationally, in order to recommend appropriate and evidence-based policies and strategies to end homelessness, in conjunction with homeless people themselves.
It is action-oriented research with a keen interest in ensuring that the knowledge generated can immediately translate into interventions.
A politics of compassion goes much deeper than charity or alms-giving. It evokes the literal meaningThe project is also deeply value-based. It plays itself out against the background of a deeper longing for “the good city” (Amin 2006 or Graham 2008), but from the perspective of those who are currently homeless. It is interested in asserting a right to the city and its resources for and with street homeless people, and going beyond that to also create intentional spaces for homeless people themselves to participate in citymaking processes that could affect their lives for the better.

The project is committed to articulating and practising a new kind of politics – expressed in compassion, generosity and justice – prioritising homelessness as an expression of a severely unequal society, and of socio-spatial arrangements that are essentially unjust and remnants of the apartheid city.

of the word, which is “to suffer with”. It requires that researchers, officials, and practitioners alike, approach it from a position of deep solA politics of justice is committed to practices that go beyond welfare-based approaches – which tend to “patronize the socially vulnerable, make poverty more bearable, or deal with homelessness as pathology” (De Beer and Vally 2015) – and instead seek to address the structural causes of homelessness in addition to supporting the essential social service infrastructure.

idarity, embarking on collective journeys of mutuality with homeless communities in which sharing will be liberating instead of enslaving.
A politics of generosity requires an ethical commitment to giving that goes beyond violating the receiver (cf. Brontë 1847). Policy and strategy will depart from a place of mutual respect, “working collaboratively towards the common good, and replacing a culture of violent charity – hand outs and crumbs – with a culture of generous investment and reciprocity” (De Beer and Vally 2015). 1

This project has not only departed from a certain moral, ethical and political commitment, but also calls for making homelessness a moral, ethical and political priority. It is therefore not neutral.”

To read a summary of the report, download it here.

To read the full report, download it here.

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