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134lecture31(mar30)bw - Homelessness Who is homeless...

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1 © 2005 David Schweingruber Homelessness March 30, 2005 http://www.iastate.edu/~soc.134 © 2005 David Schweingruber Homelessness Who is homeless? Estimates of homelessness range from 750,000 to 2 million (2000) 1995 survey of homelessness: 46% homeless men, 13% single women, 36.5% families with children, 3.5% children on own Individualistic explanations of homelessness Substance abuse Mental illness (Snow et al. found only 15% were mentally ill) Structural explanations Residential dislocation (lack of low-income housing, housing inflation) Economic dislocation (unemployment, low-paying jobs) Best explanations connect structural to biographical © 2005 David Schweingruber Pathways to the street Snow and Anderson’s Down on Their Luck (1993) Method: participant observation and analysis of shelter and government documents in Austin, Texas Connects structural factors and individual-level factors Structural factors: residential dislocation & economic dislocation
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