Narratives from the Streets


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About the Book

A half-century after the “War on Poverty” of Lyndon Johnson, poverty rates remain unchanged. Scholars have advanced polarized theories about the causes of poverty, as politicians have debated how (or if) to fund welfare programs. Yet little research has been conducted where the poor are provided a platform to speak on their own behalf. While it is important to understand how economic systems affect the homeless, it is equally important to learn about the day-to-day realities faced by those who rely on public policies for survival. Drawing on the author’s experience working in the homeless community, this book presents some of their stories of loss, abuse, addiction, and marginalization through interviews, observations, and ethnographic research.

About the Author(s)

Joshua D. Phillips is an instructor in the department of communication arts and sciences at Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine in Media, Pennsylvania. He has written several academic essays on race, poverty, and sexual violence.

Bibliographic Details

Joshua D. Phillips
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: appendices, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6457-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2527-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

Part I: Camden, New Jersey

 1—Introduction 3

 2—Frank’s Place 9

Part II: Researching Homelessness

 3—Defining Homelessness 45

 4—The Case for Narratives 67

Part III: Stories of Homelessness

 5—Losing Everything 81

 6—Navigating the System 103

 7—Manipulating the System 131

 8—Seeking Recognition/Finding Community 144

Part IV: What’s Next?

 9—Conclusion 159

10—Epilogue 174

Appendix A: List of Participants and Demographics 177

Appendix B: Guiding Interview Questions 179

Bibliography 181

Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

“Recommended”—Choice; “Dr. Phillips’ book needs to be in the public discourse as he requires readers to consider their relationship to homelessness through his smart, insightful, and poignant argument.”—Molly Wiant Cummins, St. Cloud State University; “Josh Phillips writes with clarity, compassion, and insight about the causes and potential solutions to the problem of homelessness, eloquently advocating for policy-making that includes the voices of those most directly impacted…an inspiring read.”—Suzanne M. Daughton, Southern Illinois University.