Title

BEHIND THE HARD FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

Presenter Information

Kirsa Shelkey
Chad M. Hall

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

The basement of the Poverello Center, familiarly known as the Salcido Center, is a communal daytime space that caters to homeless and transient folks, and really anybody in Missoula wishing to escape the elements and with no where else to go. The Center is unique in that it is non-discriminatory, even against those who may be under the influence of alcohol. Though this is a brash assumption, when the term homelessness is mentioned, a mental image of an individual with specific characterizations is often conjured along with it, and in most cases, in at least appearance, the clients of the Salcido Center play into this image. However, after having spent some time with these folks, it is apparent that these clients are people in the sense that all people are people, with faults and successes and have often found themselves in their current situations for specific reasons. In essence, our basic research question is, who are the people at the Salcido Center? What trends exist among them that they make use of the services the Sal offers, namely a communal space? We have applied these basic questions to different societal groups, as we have seen fit, in order to find more accurate information through the lens of our question. These groups include veterans, Native Americans, those with mental illness, youth and women. Through countless informal conversations, oral histories and observations, we have identified these trends in the hope of better understanding the backgrounds and needs of the population that uses the Salcido.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 15th, 2:40 PM Apr 15th, 3:00 PM

BEHIND THE HARD FACE OF HOMELESSNESS

UC 333

The basement of the Poverello Center, familiarly known as the Salcido Center, is a communal daytime space that caters to homeless and transient folks, and really anybody in Missoula wishing to escape the elements and with no where else to go. The Center is unique in that it is non-discriminatory, even against those who may be under the influence of alcohol. Though this is a brash assumption, when the term homelessness is mentioned, a mental image of an individual with specific characterizations is often conjured along with it, and in most cases, in at least appearance, the clients of the Salcido Center play into this image. However, after having spent some time with these folks, it is apparent that these clients are people in the sense that all people are people, with faults and successes and have often found themselves in their current situations for specific reasons. In essence, our basic research question is, who are the people at the Salcido Center? What trends exist among them that they make use of the services the Sal offers, namely a communal space? We have applied these basic questions to different societal groups, as we have seen fit, in order to find more accurate information through the lens of our question. These groups include veterans, Native Americans, those with mental illness, youth and women. Through countless informal conversations, oral histories and observations, we have identified these trends in the hope of better understanding the backgrounds and needs of the population that uses the Salcido.