Books to Better Understand (and Solve) Homelessness in America
The nationwide crisis is perceived to be a chronic and incurable social condition by too many people. It’s not. It’s a problem with a number of concrete solutions, but one should begin by dismissing certain myths surrounding homelessness.
Misperceptions only make it a greater challenge to tackle the problem. Faulty statistics that mask the true size of the homeless population also obstruct efforts to work toward effective change. Rather than dismiss the homeless as addicts or miscreants, society needs to take a clearer look at who is affected and why. When you accurately recognize at-risk populations, strategies to solve the issue rise to the surface. Identifying military veterans as a considerable percentage of American homeless has led to direct action that has provided housing and channels to guide people to better options.
Today, more young people are homeless than ever before. The San Francisco Examiner reports that nationwide in January 2016 there were over 35,000 unaccompanied homeless youth (aged 18-24). This population is largely “invisible” due to a sustained misperception surrounding homelessness. Yet, recognizing this specific population, urban planners may develop shelters that can provide for their needs, safely accommodating them so that they may transition to find long-term housing, education, and job training. In order to gain a more truthful foothold into the problem, these books provide a powerful cultural exploration of homelessness in America.