Unhoused vs. homeless. Why the somewhat recent change and what’s the difference?


In a lot of recent conversations & podcasts, I’ve heard in uptick in the use of unhoused to replace the term homeless. If unhoused is a more politically correct term, what makes it so?

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House refers to a physical structure. Home refers to a state of belonging. Home is in the heart, home is where I lay my hat, etc… unhoused people are not necessarily homeless. Their homes may be where they live on housed, it may just be in the sense of community, it may be that the backpack they carry on the shoes on their feet, that this is home for them. Also, frankly, you can be host and not be at home. If you’re traveling for 6 months, staying in the fanciest hotels, you’re definitely not unhoused, but you may well not be at home. And some of us struggle to ever find home though we remain housed

Editing to add that in terms of advocacy, While most people also want a home, and creating stronger sense of community is important, fighting for the money and access to a shelter, a roof over your head, the door to close, where you can be safe in your person and perhaps make it home, this is what people fight for first. This is a basic need for survival

I see it as another form of “double speak” to make it sound less harsh… just like how they changed ghetto to inner city and poor to poverty stricken/impoverished

Could we take that a step further? I don’t know the difference between “unhoused” and “people experiencing homelessness”

Home is where your heart is. The term “homeless” assumes that these unhoused individuals have a strict definition of “home”, which is far to presumptious.