Streetcities: Rehousing the Homeless

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StreetCities charts the development of an alternative communal housing model for chronically homeless men and women in downtown Toronto. In her recounting of the stories and narratives of residents and staff at the original "StreetCity" and the second generation "Strachan House," Bridgman explores how living on the street (something often viewed as negative) has the potential to become a powerful emblem of community growth, tolerance, and caring. The histories of these two supportive housing projects are embedded within larger currents of governmental responses to homelessness in Canada, and the incorporation of photographs, interview narratives, and handwritten fieldnotes brings Bridgman's ethnographic research to life. StreetCities also includes a discussion of the architectural design and operation of the two housing projects, and the eventual closing of the original "StreetCity."

StreetCities is written for those who want to learn more about the work being done to help chronically homeless women and men. The book will be useful for researchers, policy-makers, service-providers, teachers, students, and activists working in the fields of homelessness and housing studies, social work, urban and applied anthropology, sociology, urban studies, and qualitative research methods.

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What People Are Saying

Irene Glasser

Bridgman's fine background as both an anthropologist and an artist creates a synergy in StreetCities that makes it a wonderful example of contemporary anthropology.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Rae Bridgman is assistant professor in the Department of City Planning in the Faculty of Architecture and Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. She is the co-author of Braving the Street: The Anthropology of Homelessness (1999).

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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations


Note to the Reader: Ethical Research in a Shelter


Chapter 1: Cities within a City

Chapter 2: Living Homeless: Jimmy's Story

Chapter 3: Tom's Story

Chapter 4: Sarah's Story

Chapter 5: Chronically Homeless in Canada

Chapter 6: StreetCity: The Vision

Chapter 7: Town Council

Chapter 8: StreetCity Too: Strachan House

Chapter 9: Shelter, Housing, House, and Home

Chapter 10: Lessons from StreetCity and Strachan House



Press Coverage on StreetCity and Strachan House (selected)



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