The Value of Homelessness

The Value of Homelessness

Managing Surplus Life in the United States

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"It is all too easy to assume that social service programs respond to homelessness, seeking to prevent and understand it. "The Value of Homelessness," however, argues that homelessness today is an effect of social services and sciences, which shape not only what counts as such but what will--or ultimately won't--be done about it. Through a history of U.S. housing insecurity from the 1930s to the present, Craig Willse traces the emergence and consolidation of a homeless services industry. How to most efficiently allocate resources to control ongoing insecurity has become the goal, he shows, rather than how to eradicate the social, economic, and political bases of housing needs. Drawing on his own years of work in homeless advocacy and activist settings, as well as interviews conducted with program managers, counselors, and staff at homeless services organizations in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle, Willse provides the first analysis of how housing insecurity becomes organized as a governable social problem. An unprecedented and powerful historical account of the development of contemporary ideas about homelessness and how to manage homelessness, "The Value of Homelessness" offers new ways for students and scholars of social work, urban inequality, racial capitalism, and political theory to comprehend the central role of homelessness in governance and economy today."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Minneapolis :, University of Minnesota Press,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780816693481
Branch Call Number: 362.5920973 WI
Characteristics: ix, 213 pages ; 22 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 17, 2015

[Update: So the recent articles on yet another apartment building tripling their rents in Seattle, ostensibly forcing tenants to move, so it can go extreme high-end turns out not to be quite correct - - instead they turned that apartment building into a Sober Living House - - a social services money recipient for drunks in rehab????? So, if there is a big industry, they'd want to increase the population, right? Which may be partially what Gary Locke and Christine Gregoire did, when they signed the Interstate Compact bringing all those ex-cons to the Seattle area, huh?]
Near the beginning of this book, when Prof. Willse explains the economics of the Doe Fund [a family affair where this family makes well over $1 million per year] and how they received a monetary award from the highly conservative Manhattan Institute [reminded me of how a homeless nonprofit in Seattle received a monetary award from the Johnson Foundation - - Johnson being somewhat pivotal in helping to bring about the global economic foundation and is or has been the contact person for the American Friends of Bilderberg, Inc. - directors: David Rockefeller, Henry Kissinger, Richard Perle, et al.] I thought this guy really gets it, but then on the bottom of p. 89 and top of p. 90, I realize he has still fallen for stereotyping and still doesn't quite grasp the full array of directed economic violence - - would recommend he read Sold Out, by Michelle Malkin and John Miano, and Retirement Heist, by Ellen Schultz.
But he still shows flashes of brilliance throughout! [Splitting hairs, perhaps, but the financial angles can be difficult to understand.]


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at APL

To Top