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Abstract

The problem of homelessness still persists in many advanced capitalist Societies today, despite marked improvements in their overall economic prosperity. The broad objective of this research is ro undertake a comparative study of approaches to addressing the problem of homelessness in two such ocieties - the Republic of Ireland and the State of Victoria in Australia - and to develop an outline model, which addresses the problem of homelessness in a more holistic manner. The two locations of Ireland and Victoria were chosen because major reviews of homelessness policies have been undertaken recently in both areas. In addition, although geographically distant, they are of a similar size in terms of population, with just under 4 million in the Republic of Ireland and 4.8 million in Victoria. Also, strong historical and cultural links exist between the two jurisdictions, which can be traced back to deportation in the nineteenth century. The discussion commences with a brief overview of homeless ness as both a theoretical and a practical construct, providing a backdrop to the more focused part of the study. Moving on to the main part of the work, perspectives on homelessness in Ireland and Victoria are presented. The next task is to review the limited data available in order to identifY similarities and differences that may emerge, and relate them to the more general findings in the literature. Finally, the case is made for the need to adopt a more holistic approach to addressing the problem of homelessness and an outline model is presented.

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