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homelessness | prisons & prisoners

houseless v homeless

what does it all mean?
I've noticed other anarchists prefer to say "houseless" as opposed to "homeless" but essentially we are talking about the same thing. Or are we? What is the difference if there is one. I don't understand exactly, or whether this is an device to change the political language of "homeless" to suggest they simply don't own or rent houses. If I continue to say "homeless" if you say "houseless" is somebody going to think I'm a jerk? I'm houseless myself... ya never know. And to me I'm not a jerk. Personally i refer to my as a home as a "place."

So being "placeless" would be awful. "Landless" sounds even worse. But most people ARE placeless and landless, they just occupy "spaces" whether it's a jail cell or a sterile apartment, or a student dorm, or a house, or small bench in the park.

"Imprisoned" is the least desirable description of your living situation. What's better - being "imprisoned" or "incarcerated" or "jailed" or "serving time" or an "inmate at ___" or something else?

I'm serving time. Maybe I'm just an inmate of the city of Portland, incarcerated by everyday life. Fucking nice food ya'll got here though. Anarchist vegan jail food ... for once

anok 09.Dec.2011 03:52


I think it's a good distinction, even if in the abstract it's not 100 percent correct. Homelessness is vague and yet domineering, it's impossible to prevent or cure and leaves you feeling like humanity is doomed to this state of affairs. Houselessness sounds like all you have to do is fix the economy and elect leaders who give barely half a shit (never happen) about their fellow man and you've solved the problem. Homelessness is a sickness which isn't just caused by economics, but by mental illness and human nature and blah blah blah, an abstraction, and only Christians prayers alleviate these peoples suffering , houselessness, shit, I've suffered from houselessness, but I sure as shit haven't been homeless. Then again I'm lucky enough to have a loving family and friends who are generous and caring. Most people, not so much.

I always appreciated George Carlins bit on gulf courses and the homeless.

In my opinion - I use the term Houseless 09.Dec.2011 15:25

Joe Anybody

To me; saying and using the words "House Less" [houseles] sound more respecting and to me, seems to reflect more of the "situation on hand" in a context of being respectful about it.

So when I hear people using the words "houseless" the folks who seem to be using this word tend to be [my opinion] more concerned about house less issues, and all around seem to be, more compassionate about the situation on hand.

Whereas it seems the use of the word "homeless" is used in all sorts of ways to describe a "house [home] less situation" and a lot of those times it is not used in a context of respect and dignity.

Many times the words homeless are used callously and in a derogatory or demeaning way, whereas the folks I hear who are using the words [term] "houseless" to me, seem like they are not using it in a negative way.

Houseless is a term to me that is newer and it seems it is being used by social activists that have respect for those with out a house.

I went to Caracas Venezuela in 2009 ...and those concerned activists and organizers in South America were using the term "House Less" as well. In fact for me that is where "I heard it first used" ...

I myself try to use the words "houseless" for I feel it is more respectful.

I like your question you posted and am interested in the use of these words.

Thanks to the author: anarchist
Get out soon ~joe