Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

Synopsis

This second volume of a series addresses the problem of data collection and specific causes and issues that relate to homelessness. Unique in its attempt to bring systematic data and analysis to bear on the subject, the study focuses upon such critical areas as drug abuse among the homeless, the housing situation that gives rise to homelessness, homeless children, food sources, and problems of employment. The contributors also provide a clearer picture of the homeless population in America by examining both the socioeconomic and demographic correlates and the social-psychiatric dimensions of homelessness.

Excerpt

Volume I of Homelessness in the United States provides an unrivaled, in-depth picture of homelessness in America. No other book or study has taken such a methodical, state-by-state approach to examining contemporary homelessness. Taken collectively, these studies demonstrate that homelessness is a problem of national scope. They also help to answer basic, empirical questions for service providers and policymakers about the prevalence and extent, as well as the social and demographic characteristics, of homeless people.

In Volume II, Momeni assembles a collection of chapters focusing on specific issues about homelessness that go beyond the essentially descriptive groundwork and conceptual frameworks provided in Volume I. Rich with insights into different dimensions of homelessness, each of these chapters carries important implications for social action and policy reforms. For example, one of the hallmark features of the homeless population is an inordinately high rate of alcohol and drug addiction. In fact, recent studies suggest that as many as one-third to half of all homeless may suffer from alcohol and drug problems that make them a subpopulation with more complex, idiosyncratic service needs than other types of homeless. Similarly, since deinstitutionalization policies were implemented in the 1970s, the vast increase in the number of homeless with psychiatric disorders has dramatically changed the composition of homeless people. Yet, while it is important for researchers, practitioners, and policymakers to understand the nature and epidemiology of alcohol, drug, and psychiatric disorders among the homeless, it is also important to understand the social, political, and economic forces involved in developing policies and programs addressing these problems. In fact, one of the most appealing features of Momeni's organization . . .

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