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Homeless in paradise

Homelessness isn’t evident at home in Great Barrington the way it is here in southern California. We’re in Santa Barbara, where homeless people are everywhere–or so it seems to us, much attuned to this problem–and where our recent publishing on the subject got going a couple of years ago. David’s first ethnographic research was done on the Bowery in New York, and it’s been terrific to make this part of our global publishing efforts. Marcy Ross has been finishing up the latest publication, the Homelessness Handbook, which focuses on what is known about solving homelessness around the world.

We had a glimpse of people living in the concreted basin of the Tijuana River on Sunday–the river is a trickle now, but no doubt fills from time to time. Isn’t that the essence of homelessness, though, and its tragedy, that people everywhere try to make themselves a home. The difference is its stability, security, and comfort.

Here in Santa Barbara, luxury and poverty nestle together. David says he saw a well-attended softball game going on this evening, under lights, at a park where there are a dozen homeless men camped out. I’m sure that many people watching the game wonder, as we have, what they can do to make homelessness go away. We’re hoping the Homelessness Handbook will help.

One thought on “Homeless in paradise

  1. I don’t believe you will ever make homelessness go away because I believe that a good portion of the homeless people choose to be that way. I once had a boss that had a program to help them. He hired one, trained him and he even made it to a supervisor position. Then one day he just didn’t show up for work. A few weeks later I saw him and he had the homeless look again.

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