Homelessness in America

By Stephen Eide

Homelessness in America book cover
Added July 11, 2022

In Homelessness in America, Stephen Eide examines the history, governmental and private responses, and future prospects of this intractable challenge. The "chronic" nature of the challenge should be understood, he argues, by reference to American history and American ideals. The history of homelessness is bound up with industrialization and urbanization, the closing of the West, the Great Depression, and the post WWII decline and subsequent revival of great American cities. Though we've used different terms ("tramp" "hobo" "bum") at other times, something like homelessness has always been with us and the debate over causes and solutions has always involved conflicts over fundamental values. After explaining why homelessness persists in America and correcting popular misconceptions about the issue, Eide offers concrete recommendations for how we can do better for the homeless population.

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