Stephen Eide’s sweeping, comprehensive analysis explains why “homelessness” encompasses not a single problem calling for a single solution, but a diverse array of paradoxes and pathologies that can be handled better but not solved. His illuminating history of homelessness shows that good intentions are at times in tension with good policy.— R Shep Melnick, Thomas P. O'Neil, Jr. professor of American Politics, Boston College
Stephen Eide has brought a fresh approach to a stale and seemingly endless problem. Homelessness, he emphasizes, is neither new nor unitary. Rather it is a common outcome of multiple problems – housing, substance abuse, mental illness, poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, single-parent households, street crime, public disorder and more. Proposing a single solution for homelessness is fatuous as the author illustrates by thoughtful proposed solutions to the various pieces of the puzzle. Strongly recommended, especially for those who think there is a single solution to these problems.— E. Fuller Torrey, MD, author of American Psychosis: How the Federal Government Destroyed the Mental Illness Treatment System
Stephen Eide’s brilliant research within this book shines the spotlight of truth on one of America’s most challenging public policy issues of our time.— Robert G. Marbut Jr., formerly America’s Federal Homelessness “Czar"
From the first page, where Eide challenges the term “homelessness”, this book takes a close look at sources of the problem that are rarely discussed in public, like the disappearance of SROs and mental hospitals, the lapsed use and misuse of vagrancy laws, the failure of “outreach” and “Housing First” programs, homeless-on-homeless violence, and the very useful role that police officers can and should play. He also looks skeptically at whether “advocacy” groups are really helping people who live on the streets.— Dan Biederman, Place-making and Redevelopment executive
This is the best primer on homelessness to date. His startling and counter intuitive recommendations for addressing the problem include disbanding homeless service systems and focusing less on housing but more on employment and mental health. These and others are buttressed by his careful analysis of its history and attempts at ending homelessness. For anyone who has stumbled upon a homeless person and wondered what could be done, this book has some profound answers.— Peter Cove, author of Poor No More: Rethinking Dependency and the War on Poverty.