Essay on The Homeless in Our Community

3185 Words 13 Pages
Table of Contents
Literature Review — 3
Methodology — 5
Findings — 6
Summary — 8
Works Cited/Works Used — 9
Appendix: Survey Form — 11

In this information behavior study, our group examines the everyday information resources, needs, and behaviors of the homeless. Literature research has led us to many key resources. Important literature on our topic includes Everyday Information Needs and Information Sources of Homeless Parents, The Homeless and Information Needs and
Services, and Are the economically poor information poor? Does the digital divide affect the homeless and access to information? by Julie Hersberger, and The Impoverished LifeWorld of Outsiders and Framing Social Life in Theory and Research
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4), found after many studies on marginalized populations that instead of sharing information, the constituents of the population often withheld information from one another during the information seeking process. The key components Chatman identified in information poverty were secrecy, deception, risk-taking, and situational relevance.1 Other commonly cited factors include: gentrification of urban areas, cutbacks in aid resources for the poor and homeless, and minimum wages that don’t match the cost of living. (Chatman, 1996, p.194). Interestingly, Hersberger found in a number of studies specifically on the homeless that being homeless does not necessarily mean that one is information poor or that the homeless view themselves as information impoverished.
Quite a few homeless people have some level of education, such as high school, college, trade, or military training. Most have access to such technology as television, computers, and phones, and they have resources and services in the forms of libraries, churches, shelters, nonprofits, and government-run agencies. But the exact issues that contribute to their homeless status, as listed above, also restrict them from utilizing information in a way that addresses their needs. This results in what Chatman identifies as the “outsider” status. The homeless, a marginalized
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