Homeless Women

homelessness

homelessness, the condition of not having a permanent place to live, widely perceived as a societal problem only beginning in the 1980s. Estimates of the number of homeless people in the United States are imprecise, but in the late 1990s ranged from 700,000 per night to 2 million per year. A survey made in 1994 found that 12 million Americans had experienced homelessness at some point in their lives; the vast majority of those who are homeless consists of single men and families with children. The problem exists in all major cities and many smaller communities. The causes range from large-scale deinstitutionalization of mentally ill people to disintegration of the social fabric in minority communities, drug and alcohol abuse, relatively stagnant wages at lower income levels, cutbacks in federal social-welfare programs, job loss, reductions in public housing, and rent increases and real-estate speculation. The McKinney Act (1987) established federal support for the building and maintenance of emergency homeless shelters; some 3,700 agencies and organizations now operate shelters.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2013, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Nobody Wants to Hear Our Truth: Homeless Women and Theories of the Welfare State
Meredith L. Ralston.
Greenwood Press, 1996
Homeless Mothers: Face to Face with Women and Poverty
Deborah R. Connolly.
University of Minnesota Press, 2000
America's Shame: Women and Children in Shelter and the Degradation of Family Roles
Barbara A. Arrighi.
Praeger Publishers, 1997
Down and Out, On the Road: The Homeless in American History
Kenneth L. Kusmer.
Oxford University Press, 2002
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 6 "Who Were the Homeless?"
Health Problems of Sheltered Homeless Women and Their Dependent Children
Burg, Mary Ann.
Health and Social Work, Vol. 19, No. 2, May 1994
Changing Women: An Ethnographic Study of Homeless Mothers and Popular Education
Rivera, Lorna.
Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare, Vol. 30, No. 2, June 2003
Caught in the Mix: An Oral Portrait of Homelessness
Philip Michael Bulman.
Auburn House, 1993
Librarian’s tip: Chap. One "Flight: Women"
Homeless in America
Carol L. M. Caton.
Oxford University Press, 1990
Librarian’s tip: Part Two "Homeless Women"
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