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© 2015,It is all too easy to assume that social service programs respond to homelessness, seeking to prevent and understand it. The Value of Homelessness , however, argues that homelessness today is an effect of social services and sciences, which shape not only what counts as such but what will'or ultimately won't'be done about it. Through a history of U.S. housing insecurity from the 1930s to the present, Craig Willse traces the emergence and consolidation of a homeless services industry. How to most efficiently allocate resources to control ongoing insecurity has become the goal, he shows, rather than how to eradicate the social, economic, and political bases of housing needs. Drawing on his own years of work in homeless advocacy and activist settings, as well as interviews conducted with program managers, counselors, and staff at homeless services organizations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, Willse provides the first analysis of how housing insecurity becomes organized as a governable social problem. An unprecedented and powerful historical account of the development of contemporary ideas about homelessness and how to manage homelessness, The Value of Homelessness offers new ways for students and scholars of social work, urban inequality, racial capitalism, and political theory to comprehend the central role of homelessness in governance and economy today.
© 2015,In Better Must Come, Matthew D. Marr reveals how social contexts at various levels combine and interact to shape the experiences of transitional housing program users in two of the most prosperous cities of the global economy, Los Angeles and Tokyo. Marr, who has conducted fieldwork in U.S. and Japanese cities for over two decades, followed the experiences of thirty-four people as they made use of transitional housing services and after they left such programs. This comparative ethnography is groundbreaking in two ways it is the first book to directly focus on exits from homelessness in American or Japanese cities, and it is the first targeted comparison of homelessness in two global cities. Marr argues that homelessness should be understood primarily as a socially generated, traumatic, and stigmatizing predicament, rather than as a stable condition, identity, or culture. He pushes for movement away from the study of "homeless people" and homeless culture toward an understanding of homelessness as a condition that can be transcended at individual and societal levels. Better Must Come prescribes policy changes to end homelessness that include expanding subsidized housing to persons without disabilities and experiencing homelessness chronically, as well as taking broader measures to address vulnerabilities produced by labor markets, housing markets, and the rapid deterioration of social safety nets that often results from neoliberal globalization."