In this groundbreaking work, urban anthropologist Rae Bridgman, in careful and intimate detail, explores the perspectives of the women who work and live at Savard's, a unique shelter for homeless women. Bridgman uses the design and development of Savard's - a housing model developed by women for women - as an opportunity to document the project's original vision and what happened once it opened. There are few rules at Savard's. Women may come and go as they wish, and referrals to other services are made only when a woman has indicated interest in taking action on her own behalf. It is a model that aims to provide a safe haven for the chronically homeless.
The study traces the evolution of this type of shelter, providing qualitative research and useful analysis for academics, policy-makers, service providers, and activists. Based on many hours of participant observation as well as interviews and staff records,Safe Havenpresents a distinct picture of the chronically homeless and those on the frontlines of this lifesaving service.