Shared stories, silent understandings: aboriginal women speak on homelessness
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Increased knowledge about Aboriginal women’s unique experiences of homelessness will assist in improving and altering service systems. Planning theory suggests planners can consciously work to ensure the stories of marginalized peoples are heard and understood, which can transform systems and institutions. From an Indigenous planning perspective, transformation must involve reflecting on and altering colonial systems. Using survey, focus group, and interview methodologies, various types of stories were told, analysed and retold as common themes and overarching considerations. In this research, stories about trauma and tragedy were told as common and shared experiences. The women participating spoke about a need to be heard and respected and throughout their stories gaps in services were shown to dramatically reduce their ability to change their own circumstances. Recommendations were developed with Aboriginal women experiencing homelessness with the intent of transforming systems to begin a new story of healing and hope.