Articles on Homelessness

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People have camped in the long grass since colonisation. From this perspective, bans on the practice are a denial of Indigenous agency, culture and rights to country. Photo: K. Pollard

Contested spaces: the ‘long-grassers’, living private lives in public places

In contrast to perceptions of other homeless people sleeping rough, Darwin's "long-grassers" are applying a long cultural tradition to deal with the situation in which they find themselves.
A family of Programa Atitude beneficiaries in short-term housing provided by the programme. Lianne Milton/Panos for the Open Society Foundations

Why cities should stop arresting crack users and help them instead

Evidence increasingly shows the effectiveness of controversial efforts, like northeastern Brazil's Attitude Programme, to feed and house at-risk drug users.
A collaborative painting by Chris Honig and homeless street artists Soloe and Jubs in Hosier Lane. Photograph by Constantin Tanasa

Some rough sleepers are attracting tourists with their street art

Some say homelessness creates squalor in our cities. But Hosier Lane — the most Instagrammed spot in Melbourne — thrives partly due to homeless street artists.
Under pressure from media coverage like this, Lord Mayor Robert Doyle wants to ban people from sleeping on Melbourne’s streets. Herald Sun

Ban on sleeping rough does nothing to fix the problems of homelessness

Bans are ineffective when used against populations that have nowhere else to go. Importantly, research shows that punitive approaches to the homeless cost more than supported housing strategies.
Some homeless youth facing criminal charges in NSW are being accommodated in prisons. Adrian Fallace/flikr

NSW bail laws mean well but are landing homeless kids in prison

Homeless children charged in NSW with a criminal offence who are unable to meet bail conditions are being kept in custody. It's due, in part, to a well-meant but flawed section of the Bail Act.
The financial safety net for South African children is better than in most countries. But other vulnerabilities aren’t taken care of adequately. Reuters

South Africa does child support grants well, but not other welfare services

The lack of service integration and the paucity of welfare services make poor people's task of caring for their familes much harder. A small monthly cash transfer can’t solve all their challenges.
Hosier Lane, the iconic Melbourne laneway. David Kelly

Graf all you want, but don’t you dare be poor!

Businesses have traded on graffiti and the air of edginess that draws visitors to Melbourne's laneways. But they draw the line at sharing space with the homeless, whose right to the city is denied.
A national housing policy is needed that recognises how all the sectors – buying, renting, investing, social housing or homeless – are connected. AAP/Paul Miller

Our cities will stop working without a decent national housing policy

A decent national housing policy is not just about the million or so Australians who are in housing need, marginal housing or homeless. In reality, all the housing sectors are connected.
Brian Halsey, 'Novem II,' 1981, 8 Color Silkscreen Serigraph

Are we in the midst of a public space crisis?

Many praise the internet as a democratizing force. But with online spaces replacing physical public squares as places for debate, what do we risk losing?
Homeless young people have a significantly higher prevalence of adverse health issues and greater levels of contact with the justice system. AAP/Mick Tsikas

New homelessness report shows the cost of waiting for early intervention

A new report’s findings provide a strong economic rationale for investing in early intervention to stem the flow of young people into homelessness.

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