Affordable housing, extended-stay hotel, liminality, social work


As a result of unaffordable housing, many of America's working poor are forced to seek shelter in hotels to avoid homelessness. The concept of liminality has been used in discussions of place to describe the subjective experience of feeling in-between two states of being. Research is scant on the liminal experiences of low-income hotel residents, who are culturally invisible in society. This paper draws from data qualitatively collected via semi-structured interviews from ten low-income residents living in an extended-stay hotel. Descriptions of these residential experiences are presented along with recommendations for social workers practicing with families in this liminal situation.

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