The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America

The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America

The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America

The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America

Synopsis

"The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America explores the complex issues surrounding the epidemic of homelessness and presents plausible solutions to reverse the spread of this scourge. The book clearly defines the extent of the issue - its scale, severity, and scope - and offers a viable alternative to stem homelessness, poverty, and welfare dependence in America. Dr. Nunez, esteemed for his work in social welfare policy, makes an important contribution to the current literature on homelessness by proposing a bold new direction for national homeless policy, one that calls for the transformation of the emergency shelter system into comprehensive residential-educational-employment training centers that are child focused and family based. Supported by compelling interviews and photographs of homeless families, the author logically contends that with education, family preservation services, and job training, these families can become self-sufficient. However, if they are deprived of these opportunities, another generation of children will grow up without homes and without the traditional values of work, responsibility, and independence. The New Poverty is intended to reach many audiences, from general readers to professionals in sociology, political science, education, public policy, and the legal and medical communities. In the midst of the current tense political climate, this extraordinary book will educate and enlighten the public on the history and realities of family homelessness, as well as give policy makers and academics substantive material to help make decisions and develop policy and program directives." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

One night in the autumn of 1985, I hosted an out-of-town friend who, during the course of the evening, mentioned that she had never seen lower Manhattan. For me, a lifelong New Yorker, the son of an immigrant, and a businessman, this oversight seemed easy to remedy So despite the lateness of the hour, we drove downtown for a midnight tour. The most appropriate starting point, I reasoned, would be City Hall.

Who would have guessed that, rather than invigorate me, our visit to this old, imposing center of municipal government would disturb me profoundly, start me on a mission that would alter the way I viewed government, democracy, and private enterprise and their impact on the human condition?

We saw eight or nine ragged men that night, all of them asleep, sprawled with their meager possessions in the City Hall park, a serious-looking police officer nearby.

"Why are these people sleeping here, right in front of City Hall?" I asked him. "What's going on?"

"Get moving," the officer snapped, planting his hands on his hips to show that he meant business.

I backed away, thought a moment, then approached him again, this time flashing a press pass from the Village Voice. I explained that I owned the New York weekly and suggested that the curious scene might warrant some press attention.

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