Homelessness in the United States, Europe, and Russia: A Comparative Perspective

Homelessness in the United States, Europe, and Russia: A Comparative Perspective

Homelessness in the United States, Europe, and Russia: A Comparative Perspective

Homelessness in the United States, Europe, and Russia: A Comparative Perspective

Synopsis

The editors of this book draw upon professionals in seven industrialized nations to examine the prevalence, causes, trends, demographics, and health concerns of homelessness and to evaluate potential solutions. They also report on the resources available to the homeless by the public and private sectors in each of the seven countries studied; the United States, Germany, the Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Russia, and Spain. Also provided is a comparison of social welfare systems in industrialized nations with perhaps the most current and accurate statistics regarding Russia available in the literature.

Excerpt

In 1987, the United Nations along with host governments from around the world proclaimed that year as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Research was conducted and conferences were held worldwide to educate the general public about the international aspects of homelessness. It was during that year that the first international estimate of the numbers of homeless people was made--100 million people were estimated to be homeless.

Having worked at local and national levels on homeless issues over the past quarter of a century, I often wondered about homelessness in other countries. I knew that homelessness in my own city, Washington, D.C., could not be just a local problem, but must be a regional, national, and international tragedy begging for immediate action.

I wanted to know who were the homeless in other countries; how many were there in different countries; what were the causes; the solutions, and the role of the government and private sectors; and what were model programs in these countries. I also wanted to hear the voices of homeless people in other countries.

While my plate was full here in the United States, I have always believed that knowledge is power. By knowing more about homelessness internationally, I believe we are better advocates for the homeless in our own country.

Having read Homelessness in the United States, Europe, and Russia byCarl Helvie andWilfried Kunstmann, I now have some of the answers to my questions. The seven countries profiled in this book all have severe homelessness problems, and the authors have taken major steps to address them.

This book is a must read for anyone working on the local or national level wanting to know more about homelessness in an international context.

Michael Stoops

National Coalition for the Homeless

Washington, D.C.

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