The Pathways out of Homelessness research report is a result of a transdisciplinary research project with more than 40 researchers from various faculties such as Theology, Social Work, Family Medicine, Architecture, Law, Urban Design, Anthropology, and others.
Part of the research process, a summit was held to create a platform for practitioners, policymakers, politicians, people who are homeless, activists, and academics to engage with the research.
On 25 and 26 May 2015 the first Tshwane Homeless Summit was held at the Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History in Pretoria. The theme of the Summit and the broader research process of which it formed a central part was Pathways out of Homelessness.
Held in the capital city of South Africa, this Summit was a first of its kind in South Africa, and held the potential to inform not only local knowledge, policy and strategy, but also national policy and strategy on homelessness. The Summit was both the culmination of a research process and part of the methodology used.
The Summit was co-hosted by four partners: the Tshwane Homelessness Forum, the City of Tshwane, the University of Pretoria, and the University of South Africa. The co-hosting of the Summit and the composition of participants were expressions of trans-disciplinarity, ensuring a process seeing ‘different academic disciplines working jointly with practitioners to solve a real-world problem’ (Klein et al., 2012:4).
The Summit brought together almost 500 people, including homeless and former homeless individuals, city officials, politicians, policy-makers, community practitioners, religious leaders, academics and researchers, business people, police and members from the general public. More than half of the participants were homeless or former homeless individuals.