Do we have the knowledge to address homelessness?


Cameron Parsnell


Book Review Article


Various forms of housing exclusion are a reality for millions of people across the globe. For people who are homeless in advanced industrialized economies, housing exclusion often co-exists with social service engagement. This essay reviews three books about how homelessness is conceptualized and caused, and how we, as social service providers and social scientists, respond to homelessness: Housing First: Ending Homelessness, Transforming Systems, and Changing Lives, by Deborah Padgett, Benjamin Henwood, and Sam Tsemberis;
Women Rough Sleepers in Europe: Homelessness and Victims of Domestic Abuse, by Kate Moss and Paramjit Singh; and The Value of Homelessness: Managing Surplus Life in the United States, by Craig Willse. It concludes that Housing First achieves justice for deeply marginalized individuals but that the effectiveness of Housing First represents a disturbing reminder of our failed welfare states and public institutions.


Cameron Parsnell, “Do we have the knowledge to address homelessness?,” I4E: Housing4All Digital Library, accessed May 18, 2024,

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