Beyond Homelessness: Frames of Reference by Benedict Giamo, Jeffrey Grunberg

By Benedict Giamo, Jeffrey Grunberg

Positive factors interviews with 9 people who speak about the standards that give a contribution to homelessness.

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A case-worker could do it. If you are not well-connected, if you are like that famous homeless woman in New York City"Billie Boggs"you are not going to get yourself through that system. There is a former graduate student of mine who has been on SSI for thirty years and he never gets bounced off. He says he is not crazy. " Okay, so we need a welfare system that is not designed to keep people off but to cover people who need it. We could get rid of homeless females and their kids very easily by changing the AFDC system so that it provides enough money to actually rent a house.

What she did was try to reconcile Carol Stack's notion of the network of supporting people that blacks who were very, very poorwomen, in particularhad developed. " And they don't, and the reason they don't is that they cannot reciprocate. Those loose, extended kin or pseudokin networks were sustained by each individual being able to contribute something. But these people cannot reciprocate, and this is hostile to the development of a network. Based upon this whole notion of uprootedness, I've moved into looking at the extremely poor who are not unconnected, who are housed, and who are managing to get along.

GRUNBERG: That reminds me of something you wrote about in your book. You discussed the fact that there used to be two concepts of homelessness, a particular town's local homeless and its outsider homeless. ROSSI: That's right. That was because of the settlement rules that used to govern who was eligible for local public welfare. The settlement rules were tossed out by the Supreme Court in 1964. You see, in order for a person to become eligible for any kind of welfare relief he or she had to have been a resident of the locality in question.

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