Title

The Visibility of Homelessness in Missoula

Presentation Type

Presentation

Abstract

When people experiencing homelessness are seen sleeping in public places, rather than at a shelter such as the Poverello Center, the question of “why” is posed. By analyzing ethnographic field notes documenting 36 hours of participant observation, I will explain why homelessness is visible in Missoula. I will focus on three reasons that people experiencing homelessness sleep outdoors in Missoula: permanent outs from the Poverello Center, lack of access to affordable hotel rooms, and the lure of autonomy and freedom the North Reserve Street camps provide. By examining why some people without homes opt not to stay at the Poverello Center, I will demonstrate that a public street may be the safest, most cost effective place to sleep in Missoula for some people experiencing homelessness.

Category

Social Sciences

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Apr 17th, 4:20 PM Apr 17th, 4:40 PM

The Visibility of Homelessness in Missoula

UC 326

When people experiencing homelessness are seen sleeping in public places, rather than at a shelter such as the Poverello Center, the question of “why” is posed. By analyzing ethnographic field notes documenting 36 hours of participant observation, I will explain why homelessness is visible in Missoula. I will focus on three reasons that people experiencing homelessness sleep outdoors in Missoula: permanent outs from the Poverello Center, lack of access to affordable hotel rooms, and the lure of autonomy and freedom the North Reserve Street camps provide. By examining why some people without homes opt not to stay at the Poverello Center, I will demonstrate that a public street may be the safest, most cost effective place to sleep in Missoula for some people experiencing homelessness.