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Rose-Marie Stambe, Stefanie Plage, Ella Kuskoff, Cameron Parsell
People’s experiences of homelessness are also experiences of violence and distress. Individuals experiencing homelessness are often forced into unregulated places like shelters or rough sleeping, where violence thrives. Due to shelter shortages, Australia is using backpacker hostels and boarding houses to accommodate people experiencing homelessness, but how violence manifests in these settings is not well understood.
We draw on ethnographic research in an Australian urban center to examine the dynamics of violence and space among people experiencing homelessness who are living in different forms of accommodation. The findings show that marginality and socio-spatial inequalities are experienced beyond “marginal spaces.”
We demonstrate that a lack of control over living space is a key factor contributing to the violence and continued marginalization experienced by individuals. Our findings highlight how policy failings limit people’s opportunities to escape violent and distressing living arrangements, which further entrench their socio-spatial disadvantage.