Abstract

Using audio, video, and radio interviews, the Cleveland Homeless Oral History Project (CHOHP) has sought to foster the development of a collaborative analysis of homelessness from the bottom up. Designed to overcome problems with traditional academic research on homelessness, CHOHP explicitly seeks to share research with those living on the streets and in the shelters in Cleveland, Ohio and involve homeless people in the process of analysis. Rather than focusing on the personal pathologies of the homeless, the analysis that emerges from CHOHP suggests that trends in downtown and neighborhood real estate development, the criminalization of the poor, the growth of the temporary labor industry, and the retrenchment of the welfare system have led to the emergence of powerful interests invested in perpetuating homelessness.

Beyond analyzing these trends, CHOHP's formal research setting has emboldened homeless people to act and become agents for social change.

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