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Hobos, Hustlers, and BackslidersHomeless in San Francisco$
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Teresa Gowan

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780816648696

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816648696.001.0001

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The Homeless Archipelago

The Homeless Archipelago

(p.185) Six The Homeless Archipelago
Hobos, Hustlers, and Backsliders

Teresa Gowan

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter takes a look at San Francisco’s homeless men living under the shelter system to assess their experience in more service-rich environments. Here, social workers and counselors tried to help men and women by providing a safe island for therapeutic intervention, but their successes were fragile and often transitory. The homelessness discourse on sickness struggled to hold its own, sliding back toward the magnetic binaries of sin, further compromised by the paucity of long-term funding for the more healthy men exiting transitional programs. The chapter examines the ways that homeless men experienced and understood the ostensibly therapeutic approach within the transitional shelters and related institutions. In particular, it describes the implementation in San Francisco of the Continuum of Care plan, conceived by the 1994 Interagency Council on the Homeless as a holistic safety net encompassing three phases of support to homeless individuals.

Keywords:   homeless men, social workers, therapeutic intervention, homelessness, sickness, sin, shelters, San Francisco, Continuum of Care, Interagency Council on the Homeless

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