Geographies of direct action and homelessness
Bowen, Jay Eliot
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The Mad Housers is an Atlanta-based non-profit organization dedicated to building free shelters for homeless individuals. They are unique among registered non-profit organizations in that they challenge existing power structures by trespassing onto private land to build their shelters. This project examines the Mad Housers, in light of these actions, in order to determine where they exist on a scale between direct service and direct action. In doing this, the research reviews some of the literature that has defined the concepts of direct service and direct action in the past. While much of this literature poses these concepts as poles that exist in opposition to one another, research on the Mad Housers suggests a new form of community organizing that embodies these concepts in unison with little confrontation between them. Future research on the Mad Housers and other contemporary community organizations could suggest a new trend in civic activism.