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Governing the Homeless in an Age of Compassion: Homelessness, Citizenship, and the 10‐Year Plan to End Homelessness in King County Washington

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Abstract:  In 2001, President Bush announced his intention to “end chronic homeless by the year 2012” as part of his broad “Compassion Agenda”. Since then, departmental consolidation, changes in funding allocation, and continued decentralization of services provision have dramatically reshaped the landscape of homeless service provision in the US. In this paper I examine how these roll‐out policies reify and re‐entrench liberal equations of property with rational self‐governance at the local scale. Particularly, I illustrate how tropes of homeless otherness work alongside and through federal neoliberal roll‐out policies to exclude homeless voices from the formation of local social policy. In doing so, I attempt to call attention to the mutually constitutive relationship between the spatial management of homeless bodies, tropes of homeless deviance and dependence, and limits to citizenship in the context of neoliberal urban governance.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Geography, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA, USA;

Publication date: September 1, 2012

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