Homeless Families


homelessness, the condition of not having a permanent place to live, widely perceived as a societal problem only beginning in the 1980s. Figures for the number of homeless people in the United States are imprecise, but it was estimated that 700,000 people were homeless per night in the late 1990s and 610,000 per night in the early 2010s. 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-Vento Homeless Assistance Act (1987) established federal support for the building and maintenance of emergency homeless shelters. The Homeless Emergency Assistance and Rapid Transition to Housing (HEARTH) Act (2009) focused greater emphasis on homelessness prevention and continuing efforts to eliminate chronic homelessness. Among the efforts to reduce chronic homelessness, which involves people with disabling behavioral or health conditions who experience repeated or prolonged periods of homelessness, is the Housing First program, which emphasizes placing in homeless into housing with some support before requiring. for example, treatment for addiction; the program represents a reversal of the typical earlier approach.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Homeless Families: Selected full-text books and articles

Homelessness in America By Jim Baumohl Oryx Press, 1996
Librarian's tip: Includes "Homeless Families Are Different"
There's No Place like Home: Anthropological Perspectives on Housing and Homelessness in the United States By Anna Lou Dehavenon Bergin & Garvey, 1999
Librarian's tip: Includes "Doubling-Up and New York City's Policies for Sheltering Homeless Families"
The Black Family: Strengths, Self-Help, and Positive Change By Sadye L. Logan Westview Press, 1996
Librarian's tip: Includes "A Perspective on Homelessness among African American Families"
Braving the Street: The Anthropology of Homelessness By Irene Glasser; Rae Bridgman Berghahn Books, 1999
Librarian's tip: Includes information on Homeless Families in "Patterns of Homelessness"
Homeless Mothers: Face to Face with Women and Poverty By Deborah R. Connolly University of Minnesota Press, 2000
The New Poverty: Homeless Families in America By Ralph da Costa Nunez Insight Books, 1996
Parenting in Public: Family Shelter and Public Assistance By Donna Haig Friedman; Rosa Clark; Brenda Farrell; Deborah Gray; Michelle Kahan; Margaret A. Leonard; Mary T. Lewis; Nancy Schwoyer; Elisabeth Ward; Sarah Haig Friedman Columbia University Press, 2000
Looking for a topic idea? Use Questia's Topic Generator
Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.