For a decade, from 1983 to 1993, homelessness was a major concern in the United States. In 1994, this public concern suddenly disappeared, without any significant reduction in the number of people without proper housing. By examining the making and unmaking of a homeless crisis, this book explores how public understandings of what constitutes a social crisis are shaped. Drawing on five years of ethnographic research in New York City with African Americans and Latinos living in poverty, Where Have All the Homeless Gone? reveals that the homeless "crisis" was driven as much by political misrepresentations of poverty, race, and social difference, as the housing, unemployment, and healthcare problems that caused homelessness and continue to plague American cities.
Publisher: Berghahn Books