The project is articulating theories on homelessness and generating new knowledge, but not for the sake of theorising or knowledge production. It is interested rather in retrieving different kinds of knowledge that could help generate innovative solutions and just alternatives to the status quo.

It is generating evidence on the ways in which the face of homelessness is changing in the City of Tshwane, and nationally, in order to recommend appropriate and evidence-based policies and strategies to end homelessness, in conjunction with homeless people themselves.

It is action-oriented research with a keen interest in ensuring that the knowledge generated can immediately translate into interventions.

A second phase of the project was launched mid-2018 with the title: “Pathways out of homelessness: going deeper”. 

This project represents the second phase of a triangular project on street homelessness that brought together higher education institutions, local government as in the City of Tshwane, community based organisations as well as homeless people. The first phase of the project was designed to gain insights on street homelessness as well as address lacuna regarding the formal intervention in addressing homelessness at a policy level.

“Pathways out of homelessness: going deeper” is a 3-year research proposal that builds on the research and findings emanating from the pilot project that was completed in 2015 and known as “Pathways out of homelessness.

Our experience in addressing street homelessness has demonstrated the salience of combining disciplinary expertise with local administration as well as recognizing the different efforts of local religious and community-based organizations and the lived experiences of homeless persons> This multi-dimensional approach brought together gown and town through underlying the significance of academic research in establishing policies to address the social vulnerability and economic precariousness of street homeless people.

Our aim in this project is to deepen our understanding of pathways into street homelessness and thus establish meaningful pathways to help the reinsertion of homeless persons as economically viable individuals into society in the City of Tshwane. This project also aims to contribute to the development of a national policy on homelessness as well as to the global conversation on eradicating homelessness.


Urban Festival 2020 – Film: Facing Homelessness

On Friday 09 October 2020, The Unit for Street Homelessness in Centre for Faith and Community, UP and the Community Orientated Substance Use Programme, UP participated in the virtual festival:…

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Editorial: Pathways out of Homelessness

People do not become homeless out of choice. There is sufficient historical evidence to demonstrate that the social and political vulnerability of street homeless people results from structural factors like…

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(Finding) Pathways out of homelessness: An engaged, trans-disciplinary collaborative in the City of Tshwane

Street homelessness in the City of Tshwane was brought to public attention in the winter of 2014. This led to a composite research project involving different constituencies, including homeless people, to reflect on…

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International responses to homelessness: Lessons for the City of Tshwane

Reports of increases in the numbers of homeless people are pouring in from all over the world yet many governments still do not consider homelessness worthy of a policy response…

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Unshackling the chains of homelessness in the City of Tshwane: A critical appraisal of the current policy in the light…

This article provides a critical appraisal of the current Homelessness Policy for the City of Tshwane in the light of national and local policies and strategies. Both a literature review…

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Homelessness in Pretoria: Exploring the survival challenges of the homeless and their right to the city

This article documents the biographies of 60 homeless people from a range of different backgrounds in South Africa’s capital city of Pretoria. The article focuses on their right to the…

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‘A shelter is not a home’: Voices of homeless women in the City of Tshwane

In response to a request from the City of Tshwane that homelessness in the city be explored, a research team was established in 2014. The research was divided into four…

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‘Not just numbers!’ Homeless people as potential economic contributors in Tshwane

Statistics on homelessness in the City of Tshwane fail to give us ideas about the capacities homeless people have that could be used as a stepping stone for their own…

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Engaging with homelessness in the City of Tshwane: Ethical and practical considerations

Policies and practices aimed at developing more engaged universities that are responsive to the needs of society have become key features of the higher education landscape of most countries. Visions…

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The Tshwane Homeless Summit as dramaturgy: A contextual, trans-disciplinary epistemology from below

In this article we propose a contextual, trans-disciplinary epistemology from below, as explored through the lenses of the Tshwane Homeless Summit and the broader policy-making process of which it formed…

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[Virtual Colloquium] Solidarity with the homeless poor during Covid-19: we cannot be free unless you are free!

The Centre for Faith and Community at the University of Pretoria, in conjunction with its research associates in its Social Justice and Reconciliation Research Group, is hosting a 2-hour colloquium in…

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[Virtual Colloquium] Homelessness & Covid-19 in the City of Tshwane

A virtual Colloquium was hosted on Zoom on Thursday the 28th of May 2020, from 16h00-18h00 The purpose of this Colloquium was:  to register what was created collaboratively since the end of March…

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Pathways out of Homelessness Report – 2015

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,…

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