Research to Identify Knowledge Gaps - Working within Formal and Informal Economies: How Homeless Youth survive in Neoliberal Times

The findings of this study suggest that labor occurs within a particular street context and street culture, the relationships between formal and informal work are inter-related, and despite the hardships they experience, young people who are or at-risk of homelessness respond to their circumstances with ingenuity, resilience and hope. Often street-involved and homeless young people are straddling formal and informal work economies while mediating layers of external and internal motivations and tensions. The majority of youth participants in this study had held at least one formal job; however, their ability to maintain employment was usually dependent on their housing situation. In this way, housing (i.e., affordable, adequate, safe, clean) availability is central to the discussion of street youth and labor and employment.

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