Author: Bakker, Laurens
Societal perception of homelessness has shifted from it being an individual to a social problem, reflected in the changing interpretation of "home:" from 'house' to 'place of belonging.' Although appropriate, the broadened definition poses a challenge in measuring the outcome of homeless outreach: provision of housing can be counted whereas provision of belonging cannot. Data collected by the Hope for Freedom Society, a homeless outreach organisation in the Tri Cities, were explored in search for evidence of social interaction and belonging. We anonymised the provided raw text activity logs and extracted a network containing clients, locations and dates. Projections of this network were then used to examine community structure in the clients' social network and activity space, using statistical models and modularity-based community finding algorithms. Despite the inclusion of interaction information, personal information, locations and dates, we were unable to find evidence of social interaction in the data.
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Thesis advisor: Bhattacharya, Binay
Thesis advisor: Brantingham, Patricia
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