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Perceptions, persecution and pity: The limitations of interventions for homelessness in developing countries

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Suzanne Speak, Dr Graham Tipple


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Interventions for homelessness in developing countries are frequently negative and unhelpful. They tend to exist in an environment of hostility, suspicion and apathy towards homeless people. This environment is cultivated and enhanced by negative and derogatory language and images used by politicians, the public and the media in their portrayal of homeless people as unemployed, beggars, drunks and criminals. Findings from a recently completed study of homelessness in nine developing countries suggest that this perception is largely false. This article argues that, until the popular misconception of homeless people is corrected, even the most well-intentioned interventions will have little long-term effect. © 2006 The Authors. Journal Compilation © 2006 Joint Editors and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Speak S, Tipple G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Urban and Regional Research

Year: 2006

Volume: 30

Issue: 1

Pages: 172-188

ISSN (print): 0309-1317

ISSN (electronic): 1468-2427

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2427.2006.00641.x


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