Welfare, exclusion and rough sleeping in Liverpool

Clare Kinsella (Department of Law and Criminology, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, UK The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK)

International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy

ISSN: 0144-333X

Publication date: 21 June 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to explore the relationship between rough sleepers, welfare and policy in the city of Liverpool, taking Liverpool City Council's Homelessness Strategy 2008‐2011 as a starting point. The paper takes as its premise the notion of rough sleepers as among the most vulnerable and marginalised in society, and questions how well they are protected by policy.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach used is analysis and contextualisation of the strategy document in terms of welfare and criminological perspectives.

Findings

The paper posits that the city's European Capital of Culture Status for 2008 has acted as a springboard for further consumerist and regeneration‐driven aspirations, facilitated by restriction of entitlement to access city space for groups such as rough sleepers. The piece explores responses to rough sleepers and other “undesirable” city centre space users in Liverpool and contends that their behaviour and activities are criminalised. Ultimately, it is argued that the city, whilst it prioritises its goal of becoming a “world‐class city”, fails to deliver in terms of its welfare obligations.

Originality/value

It is argued that the failure of the strategy to adequately consider the direct needs of rough sleepers renders them subject to other approaches, namely criminalisation. The article is valuable to both academics interested in aspects of social justice and practitioners engaged in policy making, in that it highlights some of the ways in which policy can fail to meet its basic requirements.

Keywords

Citation

Clare Kinsella (2011) "Welfare, exclusion and rough sleeping in Liverpool", International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, Vol. 31 No. 5/6, pp. 240-252

Download as .RIS

DOI

: https://doi.org/10.1108/01443331111141246

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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