a pre christmas thought


I know this is a bit odd before Christmas (or perhaps not) but I was reading for a work related (and in some ways personal) task and found this thesis, written in 2010. It is an easy-to-read piece of work and an example of someone doing a thesis that has some relevance to real life. I see that she now works at the University of Auckland and also works on behalf of the homeless in the NZ Coalition to end homelessness.

“Homelessness is commonly associated with large urban settings. For people who sleep on the streets it encompasses experiences of stigma, regulation and
displacement, marginalization, violence, loneliness, and bodily decline.” she says in the abstract.

One of the things that has affected homelessness in New Zealand recently is the change to benefit laws. It seems a bit nutty to stop benefits if you have a warrant for arrest for unpaid fines because then you can’t pay the fine or afford to live. Begging or further crime seem to be the solution. I know from observational experience that fines can accumulate and that not everyone (although they should but they don’t) has the same approach as I do. I used to observe the young men I taught ignore minor fines thinking they would go away….until the fines became a serious offense.

Anyway I thought this thesis was interesting, well written, easy to read and had some real value. I note there’s also books, articles and other assorted research and comment.

Maybe it is a time to consider homelessness seeing as a whole religion is built on the fact that two people (one of them pregnant) supposedly had nowhere to stay on a certain night…….