Homeless People: Street Children in Africa

L. Van Blerk (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In the absence of a safe place to live, some young people take to living on the streets. In many African cities, this can in part be attributed to large-scale structural causes that have an impact on the condition of poverty in families/communities. Living on the streets is seen as exciting and an escape from the social problems that stem from poverty in daily life. Paradoxically, many of the issues faced at home are replicated and magnified on the streets. The street becomes 'home', and private activities are conducted in public space. Particular spaces take on new meaning for those that appropriate them, and young people living on the streets produce urban space in a variety of ways to fulfil their daily needs. This, however, does not mean they are completely disconnected from their families because many young people move between the home and the street. © 2012

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Encyclopedia of Housing and Home
Place of PublicationNetherlands
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780080471631
ISBN (Print)9780080471716
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 31 May 2012


  • (Sub)culture
  • African cities
  • Homelessness
  • Mobility
  • Poverty
  • Street children/youth


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