In this paper, we explore the relationships of homeless hostel residents who use drugs and alcohol in order to ascertain the nature and extent of their social and recovery capital. Homelessness is a complex historically, socially, culturally, psychologically and legally constructed concept. It can, for example, encompass sleeping on the street, staying in temporary forms of accommodation (such as hostels or bed and breakfast hotels), and living in overcrowded, substandard or insecure accommodation. The term homeless hostel includes diverse forms of organised short-term accommodation, ranging from large single sex shelters to smaller more ‘family-like’ living arrangements catering for specific groups of homeless people. One useful conceptualisation of hostel accommodation is provided by who explain that homeless hostels tend to involve shared spaces, limited (or no) private space and some kind of supervision.
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