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Homelessness is a multi-dimensional phenomenon. Homeless experiences and the means to tackle homelessness can be affected by the geographical context in which homeless people live.

For example, homelessness is often thought of as an urban phenomenon, however, it can also exist in rural areas, often constituting what is known as “hidden homelessness”, which can represent an extra obstacle to people trying to get out of homelessness and for the services trying to reach them.

Another example is that of public space. Homeless people often need to use public space to survive, but are regularly driven off those spaces to satisfy commercial or even state interests. Public space is often only open to those who engage in permitted behaviour, frequently associated with consumption. Some EU cities use the criminal justice system to punish people living on the street for doing things they do in order to survive, such as sleeping, eating and begging.