Homeless people: Indigenous/Aboriginal

Memmott, P. and Chambers, C. (2012). Homeless people: Indigenous/Aboriginal. In Lorna Fox O'Mahony, Suzanne Fitzpatrick, Robyn Dowling and Susan J. Smith (Ed.), International encyclopedia of housing and home (pp. 97-103) Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier. doi:10.1016/B978-0-08-047163-1.00335-0

Author Memmott, P.
Chambers, C.
Title of chapter Homeless people: Indigenous/Aboriginal
Title of book International encyclopedia of housing and home
Place of Publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Publication Year 2012
Sub-type Chapter in reference work, encyclopaedia, manual or handbook
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-08-047163-1.00335-0
ISBN 9780080471631
Editor Lorna Fox O'Mahony
Suzanne Fitzpatrick
Robyn Dowling
Susan J. Smith
Start page 97
End page 103
Total pages 7
Language eng
Formatted Abstract/Summary
Definitions of Australian Indigenous homelessness in the social science literature have become more and more culturally specific. Pathways into homelessness for contemporary Indigenous people involve longitudinal factors that impact on them from early childhoods spent in dysfunctional communities with institutional and marginalised histories. They also involve situational factors, some of which also derive from colonial contact histories and directed cultural change. Aside from the various permutations of these factors that can bring about homelessness among Indigenous Australians, three categories (albeit not mutually exclusive ones) can be used to differentiate between them. These are (1) public place dwellers, (2) housed people who are nevertheless at risk of homelessness, and (3) spiritually homeless people.

The practice responses employed to deal with these categories of Indigenous homelessness engage diverse governmental policy areas such as health, welfare, the justice system and culturally specific governance and law, education, and regional and urban planning. Four practice responses that have emerged as having culturally distinct ramifications in relation to Indigenous Australians are (1) legislative responses (usually unsuccessful and fuel existing racial tensions); (2) community-based patrols and outreach services (to provide dispute resolution, intervene in situations of substance abuse, and remove disruptive or potentially violent persons from public or private social environments); (3) antisocial behaviour programs (involve the establishment of models of appropriate as opposed to antisocial behaviours, territorial rules concerning where particular groups should dwell, and the acknowledgment of traditional Indigenous land tenure law); and (4) regional strategies (require an understanding be gained of cultural blocs made up of multiple language or tribal groups, and regional mobility patterns that mean people leave their home communities but may be prevented in some way from returning). It is through operating an appropriate combination of such response programs that Indigenous people can be empowered with effective self-help strategies and problem-solving skills to address homelessness.
Keyword Antisocial behaviour
Australian Aboriginal people
Hidden homelessness
Indigenous homelessness
Legislative responses
Patrols and outreach services
Public place dwelling
Regional strategies
Spiritual homelessness
Torres Strait Islanders
Q-Index Code BX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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Created: Fri, 11 Feb 2011, 01:59:55 EST by Paul Memmott on behalf of School of Architecture