Facing homelessness: Finding inclusionary, collaborative solutions

Volume editor
Stephan de Beer
Volume editor
Rehana Vally


In Facing homelessness: Finding inclusionary, collaborative solutions, we face the other, and in facing the other, we face ourselves. This book contributes to an emerging body of knowledge on street homelessness in the South African context. It is meant for researchers and scholars who are committed to finding solutions for street homelessness. It offers conceptual frameworks and practical guidelines for a liberating and transformative response to homelessness. It brings together authors from a wide range of disciplines, fusing the rigour of researchers, the vision of activists and the lived experience of practitioners.


In this volume, the causes of street homelessness in South Africa today, and its different faces, are traced. It critiques singular solutions and interrogates the political, institutional and moral failures that contribute to the systemic exclusion of homeless persons and other vulnerable populations from society. It proposes rights-based interventions as part of a radical re-imagination of how street homelessness can be ended, one person and one neighbourhood at a time. The analysis by the authors steers the direction of new ways of doing and being that could demonstrate concrete, viable and sustainable alternatives to the exclusionary realities faced by homeless persons. It argues for solution-based approaches aimed at radical forms of social inclusion and achieved through broad-based and creative collaborations by all spheres of society. In the face and presence of street homelessness – as one expression of urban vulnerability and deep socio-economic inequality – society is confronted with a clear political, institutional, moral and personal obligation.


This volume calls for a reclamation of community in its most inclusionary, life-affirming and interdependent sense, asserting that we truly are well because of others and are unwell if others are. It is a call to reclaim our common humanity in the context of inclusive communities where all are equally welcome and bestowed with dignity and honour.


  • Chapter 1
    Facing homelessness in South Africa: A moral, political and institutional challenge
    Stephan de Beer, Rehana Vally
  • Chapter 2
    Facing homelessness: Scales of spatial exclusion
    Sarah Charlton, Margot Rubin
  • Chapter 3
    The Rights Revolution in South Africa: How can the homeless benefit?
    Raymond Perrier
  • Chapter 4
    Street-based people and the right not to lose one’s home
    Danie Brand, Isolde de Villiers
  • Chapter 5
    Innovative housing solutions: Making an end to street homelessness through housing-led approaches
    Stephan de Beer
  • Chapter 6
    A practical guide to providing health services to homeless persons using community-oriented primary care
    Jan Heese, Wayne Renkin, Kathryn van den Berg, Jannie Hugo
  • Chapter 7
    Empowerment: Finding sustainable solutions to homelessness
    Jon Hopkins, Joanne de Goede, Sam Vos
  • Chapter 8
    Sharing the table: Reflections on the engagement of faith-based communities with homelessness in three South African cities
    Caroline Powell, Raymond Perrier, De la Harpe le Roux
  • Chapter 9
    Homelessness and South Africa’s smaller cities: Unique opportunities to end street homelessness?
    Stephan de Beer, John Mashayamombe
  • Chapter 10
    Building inclusive communities: Street homelessness, COVID-19 and radical trans-disciplinarity
    Stephan de Beer, Rehana Vally


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