This Month’s Book Recommendation by Paula McCormack
Evicted, Poverty and Profit in the American City
by Matthew Desmond
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, 2016
Crown; Reprint edition (February 28, 2017) 448 pages
EVICTED is a wrenching sociological study of the effects of the housing crisis in our cities and how our economic system perpetuates the severe problems associated with it. Although non-fiction, it is not academic in its approach; rather, the author shares the personal experiences of several families as they try to keep some form of housing. It’s very clear as the reader follows these people’s stories, that Desmond refrains from any judgment, and lets the reader come to his or her own conclusion as to how and why people seem stuck in such dead-end lives while living in the “land of opportunity”. It’s a wake-up call for anyone who blames poor people for being poor, as any group of people who have experienced generational housing problems would succumb to these forces. Of course, individuals vary and sometimes break free of the cycle, but with much difficulty, despite our social support networks which do little to address this issue. Without a stable home, even a very modest or substandard home, people cannot develop the skills they need to come into adulthood responsibly. It truly is one of the basic human needs (air, water, food and shelter). Without STABLE shelter, one has little security, sense of community, continuity in education or sense of hope. Without home, very little else is possible.