Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-5381-1007-2 • Hardback • February 2018 • $40.00 • (£31.00)
978-1-5381-4148-9 • Paperback • January 2020 • $27.00 • (£20.99)
978-1-5381-1008-9 • eBook • February 2018 • $38.00 • (£29.00)
David Wagner is professor emeritus in sociology and social work at the University of Southern Maine. He is the author of nine books, including Checkerboard Square: Culture and Resistance in a Homeless Community, which won the C. Wright Mills Award.
Gemma Atticks is a recent graduate of the Master of Social Work program at the University of Southern Maine.
Chapter 1—Introduction: Giving Voice to the Ex-Homeless
Chapter 2—Profiles of Formerly Homeless People: Some Surprising Successes
Chapter 3—The Fight to Secure and Stay in Housing
Chapter 4—The Income to Live and Avoid Homelessness
Chapter 5—Community, Support, and Staying Housed
Chapter 6—The Therapeutic Road to Recovery: Exits from Homelessness
Homelessness does not define a person—it is a tragic condition that too many Americans have suffered for far too long. David Wagner expertly captures the essential humanity of men and women who have been homeless. It is a story of hope and promise.— Robert Hayes, founder, National Coalition for the Homeless
For some years now, David Wagner has styled himself as something of a Studs Terkel among the homeless poor, collecting stories, reminiscences, and hopes. He has also taught, befriended, and organized with them. In this latest dispatch, he explores how the “ex-homeless” account for exits from street and shelter. A worthy read.— Kim Hopper, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University
This book is a wonderful tribute to the survival and tenacity of people who have experienced the trauma of homelessness. There is such stigma around people who are currently unhoused that it creates an alternate class of people that our culture doesn’t see as actualized citizens. David Wagner has brought humanity back to the experience of homelessness by showing the transition back into a home.— Megan Hustings, interim director, National Coalition for the Homeless
Wagner, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern Maine, explains, with coauthor Atticks, that the purpose of the book is to destigmatize homeless individuals and show that this segment of society can succeed. It is not a surprise that the homeless have a lack of income, and Wagner and Atticks describe causes such as benefit cuts, housing gentrification, domestic violence, substance abuse, and major mental and physical health problems. The authors interviewed more than 50 people in the research process, including eight who are profiled: one is a quadriplegic, while others are transgender, had addictions, or were raped and abused. Their conclusions are that people can overcome obstacles and setbacks, but warns that homelessness is increasing even though welfare benefits are available. Unfortunately, these benefits are not enough to bring the homeless out of poverty, a topic also addressed in Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize–winning Evicted (2017). An appendix describes the authors’ research methods, including tables and statistics. There is also a detailed bibliography. Recommended for academic and large public libraries.