The Homeless Hustle

The homeless community is often seen but not recognized. There has been little effort to deliver aid to the marginalized community. This study identifies ways that police officers, local merchants, politicians, and members of the public engage in demonizing the homeless community. This study explains the unconventional means the homeless community must engage in to make ends meet; by working informally. A sample of 10 individuals, living in the Seaside Cities, self-identify as being homeless, and use the informal economy as a means of surviving life on the streets participated in this study. These semi-structured/open ended interview questions aimed to explain ways that these interlocking forms of oppression prevent the community from gaining upward mobility. I conclude that the demonization, criminalization, and hyper surveillance of the homeless community prevents them from being able to live in harmony. These tactics force members of the homeless community to engage in often risky of illegal tactics in order to make-ends-meet while surviving life on the streets. These interlocking systems of oppression on the community affect the way they view themselves and their self-worth. This is explained though what I call the homeless industrial complex. These forms of oppression can be found surrounding the homeless community providing nearly no relief.