Espinoza, Melissa

Project Title

Pitching solutions rather than tents: A case study of homelessness and social control in Seattle, USA


Homelessness and the visibility of tents in the urban public space continues to rise in Seattle, USA.  In Seattle, there is intense debate over how rough sleeping in tents should and has been recently handled by local authorities and the third sector. Academic literature and the media have often focused on the formation of encampments as symbolic forms of protest of the Occupy Movement, self-organised homeless led communities, and as symptoms of poor policy.  However, a gap remains in understanding how do varying forms of social control influence the accommodation choices and experiences of homeless people in Seattle. This research aims to contribute to the way cities address encampments and to improve informed tactics that are used to help people move into adequate housing from street homelessness.


Professor Suzanne Fitzpatrick and Professor Sarah Johnsen