- About Homelessness
- News & Events
- Take Action
- About Us
Notes from the Field: A look into tribal homelessness
March 31, 2011
- Because tribes are officially considered sovereign nations, funding can become complicated or come with limitations that may prove difficult to overcome (i.e., some funding may be unavailable to tribes unless they are able to become an incorporated non-profit).
- Additionally, homelessness, or near homelessness, on a reservation looks different than what people might expect. The Wilder Survey, one of the most comprehensive surveys of tribal homelessness, found that many Native Americans living on reservations are doubled up for long periods of time, often moving from one doubled up situation to another as long as that’s sustainable. Street homelessness is less common, meaning homelessness is less visible. Even the term “homeless” can cause confusion on a reservation, as the land itself is often considered a “home” for all tribal members.
- Tribes may also struggle in gaining attention for this issue from external sources. Although they share common concerns, it can be difficult to build a coalition when reservations have such distinct cultures and are often times far away from each other.