Civil society responses to homelessness
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This article explores how faith-based organisations in South Africa respond to homelessness, using research performed in 2005 with 12 religious organisations that provide services to homeless people in Johannesburg and Pretoria. It describes the organisations' histories, funding schemes and relationships with other organisations, and considers the complexities of defining homelessness.
The background to the study was broader and more in-depth work by other researchers in the Johannesburg area. The study provided some insights into civil society responses to homelessness, and revealed that the kind of services the Christian-based organisations provide depend on how they understand homelessness. The article concludes that their services are important because of their broad scope, their capacity to respond to specific local needs, and their role in channelling individuals' interest in social issues.