Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
Homeless Children and Families in Small-Town America
But the invisible homeless cannot simply fly away to never-never land, or pull themselves up by their bootstraps, or make a wish upon a star. These homeless people are children, and they are not always in the inner cities, as Yvonne Vissing shows in this poignant study of families, housing, and poverty. As many as a third of our nation's homeless are found in rural and small-town America. They are all too commonly out of sight-and out of mind.
Homelessness in small towns and rural areas is on the rise. Drawing on interviews with and case studies of three hundred children and their families, with supporting statistics from federal, state, and private agencies, Vissing illustrates the impact this social problem has upon education, health, and the economy. Families vividly describe the ways they have fallen through cracks in the social structure, from home ownership into homelessness. Looking toward the future, Vissing asks if homeless children are destined to become dysfunctional adults and provides a sixteen-year-old girl's moving testimony of the vagabond life her homeless family led.
While the economy and the very nature of the family have changed over past decades, housing, education, and human service industries have failed to adapt. Vissing provides a planning model for improving support networks within communities and challenges Americans with a fundamental philosophical question: Do homeless children merit fullscale social intervention? Ultimately, Out of Sight, Out of Mind compels us not merely to voice concerns for family and community values, but also to assert this commitment consciously through improved essential services.
About the Author
"This very readable book offers a valuable addition and counterpoint to the abundance of literature about the homeless in urban America. Vissing dispels many of the traditional myths about homelessness in small-town America"—The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science
Other Titles in SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Work