Like many politicians, reporters, social workers, and others concerned about the homeless, Robert C. Coates lived for a short time on the street. But rather than returning from his mission with yet another set of platitudes about the problem, the experience set him on the road to find answers. The result is A Street is Not a Home.
Coates’ involvement with homelessness began as an exploration into judicial ethics, but quickly developed into something far more sweeping. A Street is Not a Home is not another recapitulation of the problem but a mosaic of workable solutions that Coates has seen evolve in municipalities across the nation. Coates dismisses opinions that the homeless dilemma is one that cannot be resolved. Writing in clear, readable prose, he cuts through the medical, social, legal, and religious jargon that customarily surrounds the issue, approaching homelessness from the perspective of basic strategic planning. He separates the larger problems into manageable components, examines programs that have already been tested and found to be effective, and isolates matters that still require resolution.
A Street is Not a Home dispels many myths about the homeless crisis and clearly illustrates that the vast majority of America’s homeless can be helped.