Comparative Research on Vehicle Living in California

Document Type

Grant Proposal

Date Accepted

Spring 2006

Project Description/Abstract

Sociological studies of homelessness traditionally focus on shelter and street populations and concentrate on large, east coast urban environments. Vehicle living is a form of makeshift housing that is particularly prevalent in both cities and suburbs throughout California. Anti-homeless laws are equally prevalent, earning California the “meanest state” designation in 2003 by the National Law Center for Homelessness and Poverty. This research addresses the question: How do homeless communities maintain a life on the street and avoid anti-homeless regulation? Building on dissertation research conducted in Santa Barbara, California, I plan to target three additional cities with the overall goal of creating a representative profile of west coast homelessness. This research will expand our sociological understanding of housing solutions for homeless people and will explore vehicle living as means of resistance that offers unprecedented resources.

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