Spirituality and homelessness

Authored by: Jill L. Snodgrass

The Routledge International Handbook of Spirituality in Society and the Professions

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138214675
eBook ISBN: 9781315445489
Adobe ISBN:


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Homelessness is a pervasive injustice that has afflicted humanity throughout the ages. It impacts individuals and families, young and old, in countries across the globe. According to the United Nations, homelessness is a “global human rights crisis that demands an urgent global response” (United Nations 2015, 3). Although homelessness is not a recent phenomenon, prior to the 1970s, social scientific research on homelessness was limited and predominantly focused on the “skid rows” of Britain and North America (Busch-Geertsema et al. 2010). This perpetuated stereotypical depictions of “the homeless” as male and morally corrupt. Today, scholars recognize the myriad forms of homelessness and the concomitant need for scholarship that attends to the diverse causes, experiences, and consequences of homelessness. Homelessness is far more than the absence of proper shelter. The experience of homelessness impacts one’s physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being.

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