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A new way home: Refugee young people and homelessness in Australia

Author:

Jen Couch

Australian Catholic University, AU
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Abstract

This article gives voice to refugee young people experiencing homelessness. It is based on a project that conducted interviews with refugee young people and consultations with service providers. The research reveals that the profoundly under-recognised phenomenon of homelessness experienced by young people of refugee background is often hidden and does not match commonly held beliefs about homeless young people. The article examines the nexus between migration and homelessness in young people and how culture and ethnicity impact on young people accessing services. The stereotype of the homeless young person has been in place for many years and has dominated the research literature and the development of services. The study finds that this stereotype is alive and well in the perceptions of refugee young people and the agencies. Young people of refugee background often feel unable to access or attend these services. All the young people interviewed showed a capacity to negotiate new spaces of hope and belonging, despite dwelling in a ‘landscape of exclusion’ (Sibley 1995)—a testament to their strength, resilience and sense of agency.

 

Sibley, D. (1995), Geographies of Exclusion: Society and Difference in the West, London: Routledge.

How to Cite: Couch, J., 2011. A new way home: Refugee young people and homelessness in Australia. Journal of Social Inclusion, 2(1), pp.39–52. DOI: http://doi.org/10.36251/josi.23
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Published on 23 Jun 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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