‘I like to let them have their time’. Hidden homeless First Nations people in the city and their management of household relationships

This paper responds to recent challenges to geographers to explore spaces of homelessness other than those of the streets and other public spaces. It focuses on hidden homelessness, where individuals stay with family and friends in order to avoid living in homeless shelters or on the street. Based on interviews with fifty-six First Nations hidden homeless men and women living in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, the paper explores participants' accounts of how they negotiated their relationships with their hosts in order to maintain access to shelter. Participants monitored the tension their presence created in the household and they used five strategies to attempt to manage household relations. They minimized their presence, provided services for other members, moved frequently, contributed to household budgets and ate little of the household's food. By focusing on relationships within the household, this paper extends contemporary research on the ways homeless people negotiate different social and spatial environments.

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Social & Cultural Geography