Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-5c569c448b-w5x57 Total loading time: 0.27 Render date: 2022-07-03T21:52:26.934Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true } hasContentIssue true

Homelessness and the Mobile Shelter System: Public Transportation as Shelter

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 August 2010

LAURA NICHOLS
Affiliation:
Department of Sociology, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA 95053–0261, United States email: LNichols@scu.edu
FERNANDO CÁZARES
Affiliation:
Formerly Housing Services Division, City of San José, San José, CA, United States

Abstract

Those without housing often use public space differently than those who are housed. This can cause dilemmas for and conflicts among public officials as guardians of public space and goods. In this paper, we look at one such utilisation of space from the perspective of those who board 24-hour public transportation routes and ride the bus all night for shelter. We describe the results of a preliminary survey, observations and informal conversations with unhoused riders on the bus over three nights in one county in the United States. We found that a substantial number of the unhoused riders we surveyed used the bus as their main form of night-time shelter throughout the year, and that some have ridden the bus for shelter for many years. Men were more likely to say that they used the bus to sleep, while women rode the bus for safety. While some unhoused riders also utilised shelters or did not know about other shelter options, many actively choose the bus over emergency shelters. The potential implications of the study for service providers, researchers and policy-makers are addressed.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2010

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Alesina, A. and Glaeser, E. L. (2005), Fighting Poverty in the US and Europe: A World of Difference, Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
American Community Survey (2005), Santa Clara County, California: General Demographic Characteristics, Washington, DC: US Census Bureau.Google Scholar
Brown, D. L. (2005), ‘Go to sleep: for homeless riders on Mr Wonderful's bus, the final destination is slumber’, Washington Post, 11 September, D01.Google Scholar
Center for Housing Policy (2009), ‘Paycheck to paycheck: most to least expensive home ownership markets in 2008’, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
Cunningham, M. and Henry, M. (2008), ‘Measuring progress and tracking trends in homelessness’, in McNamara, R. H. (ed.), Homelessness in America, Vol. 1, Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Daly, G. (1996), Homeless: Policies, Strategies, and Lives on the Street, London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Dong, J. (2005), ‘“Homeless” or “unhoused”?’, Palo Alto Weekly, 24 August.Google Scholar
Donley, A. M. and Wright, J. D. (2008), ‘Shelter life for homeless men: risk or respite?’, in McNamara, R. H. (ed.), Homelessness in America, Vol. 1, Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Evans, R. D. and Forsyth, C. J. (2004), ‘Risk factors, endurances of victimization, and survival strategies: the impact of the structural location of men and women on their experiences within homeless milieus’, Sociological Spectrum, 24: 479505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Feltey, K. and Nichols, L. (2008), ‘Homeless women with children in shelters: the institutionalization of family life’, in McNamara, R. H. (ed.), Homelessness in America, Vol. 1, Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Fernandez, L. (2009), ‘Good, bad in data on homeless’, San Jose Mercury News, 27 June.Google Scholar
Fitzpatrick, S. and Stephens, M. (2007), An International Review of Homelessness and Social Housing Policy, London: Department for Communities and Local Government.Google Scholar
Fogel, S. J., Smith, M. T. and Williamson, A. R. (2008), ‘A decent home to every family? Housing policy initiatives since the 1980s’, Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare, 35: 1, 175196.Google Scholar
Hodgetts, D., Stolte, O, Chamberlain, K., Radley, A., Nikora, L., Nabalarua, E. and Groot, S. (2008), ‘A trip to the library: homelessness and social inclusion’, Social and Cultural Geography, 9: 8, 933953.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hoffman, L. and Coffey, B. (2008), ‘Dignity and indignation: how people experiencing homelessness view services and providers’, The Social Science Journal, 45: 207222.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Johnsen, S., Cloke, P. and May, J. (2005), ‘Day centres for homeless people: space of care or fear?’, Social and Cultural Geography, 6: 6, 787811.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Loseke, D. R. (1992), The Battered Woman and Shelters: The Social Construction of Wife Abuse, New York: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
Minnery, J. and Greenhalgh, E. (2007), ‘Approaches to homelessness policy in Europe, the United States, and Australia’, Journal of Social Issues, 63: 3, 641655.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nichols, L., Cázares, F. and Rodriguez, A. (in press). ‘Educating about homelessness: a university-city government research partnership’, in Nyden, P., Hossfeld, L. and Nyden, G. (eds.), Public Sociology: Research, Action, and Change, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Pascale, C. (2005), ‘There's no place like home: the discursive creation of homelessness’, Cultural Studies/Critical Methodologies, 5: 250268.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Peterson, K. (2007), ‘“Hotel 22” headed for a detour’, Palo Alto Daily News, 5 November.Google Scholar
Royale, R. (2007), ‘Night owls’, Street News Service, 12 February.Google Scholar
Samuels, R. (2006), ‘Cast of real characters found aboard 70 bus’, The Washington Post, 25 July, B01.Google Scholar
Shin, M. (2007), ‘International homelessness: policy, socio-cultural, and individual perspectives’, Journal of Social Issues, 63: 3, 657677.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Spencer, J. W. and McKinney, J. L. (1997), ‘“We don't pay for bus tickets, but we can help you find work”: the micropolitics of trouble in human service encounters’, The Sociological Quarterly, 38: 1, 185203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Wakin, M. (2005), ‘Not sheltered, not homeless: RV's as makeshifts’, American Behavioral Scientist, 48: 8, 10131032.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
White, D. and Crawford, C. (2008), ‘African American males and homelessness: voices from the shelter’, in McNamara, R. H. (ed.), Homelessness in America, Vol. 1, Westport, CT: Praeger.Google Scholar
Wright, T. (1997), Out of Place: Homeless Mobilizations, Subcities, and Contested Landscapes, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.Google Scholar
9
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Homelessness and the Mobile Shelter System: Public Transportation as Shelter
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Homelessness and the Mobile Shelter System: Public Transportation as Shelter
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Homelessness and the Mobile Shelter System: Public Transportation as Shelter
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *