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College of Charleston

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Australia: Identity and Public Policy in a Multicultural Society


This project examines the general public’s perception of homeless people and what impact (if any) those perceptions have on the policies or services available to homeless people. The project also examines what affect (if any) gender, age, level of formal education, annual household income and/or suburb may have on the public’s various attitudes. The project’s focus is on the perceptions towards and from homeless people, the definition of homelessness, and the policies affecting homelessness. The project’s data was collected from the central business district of Melbourne in addition to two inner suburbs, Toorak and Footscray. Much of the qualitative information has been gathered from a first hand experience, including interviews with homeless people and people who work with them. At the base of the research is a survey which has been distributed to the general public. The original hypothesis and agenda of the project was to shed light on the public’s perception of homeless people and how that directly affects the policies in place for them, therefore assuming that the way to solve homelessness would be to change the public’s perception. The project however, uncovered many things that were not initially expected.


Demography, Population, and Ecology | Inequality and Stratification


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