Towards identifying the causes of South Africa's street homelessness: some policy recommendations
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The HSRCl's four-year study of street homelessness in SA highlights the way unemployment stresses poor households and sets in motion processes of exclusion, and suggests that the social wage safety net is not protecting the street homeless. Although subsidised housing and social grants seem to head off homelessness in many cases, they mainly target the poor in shacks, and economic migrant population who seem more able to access on theory own the benefits due to them, without needing institutional help. This paper recommends both prevention and remediation. It highlights the roles of housing delivery and the social wage, which should include measures that will work for both shack residents and the street homelessness. Allowing access to street livelihoods may be the only practical alternative to expanding social grant support to include the structurally unemployed.