Most studies of homelessness emphasise the suffering and social exclusion experienced by people living without secure housing. It is only more recently that scholars have turned their attention to the means by which homeless people struggle to maintain their health and wellbeing despite their exclusion. This interest has been a strong feature of recent affective and performative geographies of homelessness. This chapter adds to this literature by offering insights into the affective and performative aspects of health-in-the-making, along with novel empirical reports of the lived experience of health and wellbeing in specific homeless communities in Melbourne. I address the first aim by extending recent geographical work on ‘niching practices’ in urban settings. I argue that select urban sites support the health-in-the-making of homeless people by affording the creation of enabling niches. Turning to my ethnographic data, I indicate how these niches enable the expression of novel durational agencies and affective capacities. These reports help to elucidate the means by which precarious life is managed in cities. I conclude by briefly considering the implications of my analysis for ongoing efforts to articulate a novel politics of homelessness grounded in an affective right to the city.
SOURCE: Duff C. (2020) Surviving Homelessness in Melbourne: The Niching of Care. In: Atkinson S., Hunt R. (eds) GeoHumanities and Health. Global Perspectives on Health Geography. Springer, Cham, 31 August 2019.
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