Towards a contextual approach to the place–homeless survival nexus: An exploratory case study of Los Angeles County

Marr, Matthew D., Deverteuil, Geoffrey and Snow, David (2009) Towards a contextual approach to the place–homeless survival nexus: An exploratory case study of Los Angeles County. Cities, 26, (6), 11pp. (doi:10.1016/j.cities.2009.07.008).


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The characteristics of the immediate locale greatly affect the ability of homeless people to adapt to life on
the street and in shelters, with different types of places nurturing different circumstances for survival.
Current conceptualizations of the place–survival nexus are too narrow, relying on small-scale, intensive
studies of particular places that are known to sustain homeless survival while ignoring more suburban
and exurban locales, as well as failing to set these places of survival within the larger socio-economic
spaces of the metropolitan area. Further, the literature is heavily qualitative, lacking any kind of ‘‘big picture” quantitative assessment of the nexus. In response, we contribute to the place–survival nexus literature by developing a typology of space for homeless survival and then use interview data to examine the variation in survival strategies across three types of urban space in Los Angeles County. Our results speak to how our innovative and exploratory approach enabled a broader, more extensive and variegated understanding of place–survival among homeless people than previous studies

Item Type: Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): doi:10.1016/j.cities.2009.07.008
ISSNs: 0264-2751 (print)
Related URLs:
Keywords: homelessness, survival, adaptation, subsistence, space, place
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Divisions : University Structure - Pre August 2011 > School of Geography > Economy, Culture, Space
ePrint ID: 69173
Accepted Date and Publication Date:
16 October 2009Published
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2009
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:55

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