Felicity reynolds social inclusion and housing june 2010Presentation Transcript
Felicity Reynolds CEO, Mercy Foundation June 2010
The language of homelessness and exclusion.
The danger of demand led arguments about homelessness.
The home as financial investment (or a lesson from Economics 101).
No amount of case management will address the structural reasons for chronic homelessness.
An alternative definition that may help solve homelessness as well as foster social inclusion.
‘ The Homeless’ do not exist – it is a regularly changing population.
The % of people who experience chronic homelessness is more stable.
Think about solving homelessness as a local problem (but don’t forget the systemic structures that create the problem).
Accentuating the demand for homeless services by homeless people has unintended consequences.
These arguments may achieve fundraising targets but simultaneously reinforce the problem as a personal, charitable one – rather than the result of inadequate affordable housing and other unjust social systems and structures.
The home as investment, as opposed to a place to live.
The problem of creating financial dependency for the chronically housed.
Simple supply and demand economics keeps people excluded from the housing market (owning and renting).
People who are chronically homeless are likely to have a number of serious problems.
Analysing (or ‘case managing’) the person rather than analysing the systems and inequitable structures.
Re-framing the problem.
Thank you to my colleagues who have experienced chronic homelessness.
Our common definition of homelessness is about houselessness.
Kraybill’s work and the following definition is more about social inclusion – or as I prefer to call it ‘homefullness’.
This is ‘the self’. The characteristics of this home are physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual in nature. This home needs to be nurtured, rested, nourished and emotionally supported.
This might cover any of the descriptions provided under the primary, secondary and tertiary definitions of homelessness. It is the place where we live, and it refers not only to the physical structure but to the living environment within which it is located. This home is where we sleep, where we begin and end every day, where we store our belongings, it may be where we socialise and interact with others.
This is the larger community within which our first and second homes are located. It provides context to the lives that are lived within it and how that is realised at an individual level. Here the connectivity between individuals, multiple communities, the residential, business and visitors all meet in the same place. The quality of that home is defined by the relationships of all groups within it.
Housing solves homelessness.
Support (when needed) sustains that housing.
Addressing all three homes fosters social inclusion and creates ‘homefullness’.