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September 14, 1990     The Message
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September 14, 1990

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iiiii l lll ii i ii The Messale -- for Catholics of So uthwest.ern Indiana Entertainment I III II II September 14.1990 'Down and Out' deals with issue of homelessness Catholic News Service "Down And Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness" by Peter H. Rossi. University of Chicago Press (Chicago, 1989). 247 pp., $15.95 You do not need to spend much time downtown in any American city to realize the severity of homelessness. The numbers are growing. The governmental "safety net" to help the poor, the jobless and the homeless has long ago pro- ven inadequate. Recent attempts at a head- count, teach-ins and forums on college campuses, and the call for legislative initiatives on behalf of poverty and homelessness have also brought attention to the problem. And, as the greed-is-good era winds down, a new wave of volunteerism has led to the opening of soup kitchens, over- night shelters and medical clinics ,t,at draw together citizen ,groups, churches and the business sector in common cause to ameliorate the prob- lems of America's underclass. Whether such efforts are merely the latest in trendy con- cerns remains to be seen. In any event, Peter Rossi's study of homeless and poverty, "Down and Ot in America: The Or/gins of Homelessness," is required reading for anyone seriously concerned with ad- dressing the interrelated issues of poverty and homelessness in America. Although primarily a sociological work, "Down and Out" begins with a helpful review of the history of homelessness in the United States. The author is particular- ly adept at elucidating the prob- lems encountered in gathering data on the number of the homeless and domiciled poor. Rossi also examines the condi- tions of the extremely poor and honleless in contemporary studies and on the demographic composition of these groups. The role that some disabilities play in causing homelessness is also examined. "Down and Out" concludes with a discus- sion of short-term and long- term concrete steps needed to ameliorate the conditions of the homeless and the domiciled poor. Rossi convincingly illustrates the connections between the high level of extreme poverty (the pool from which the short- term episodic and long-term chronic homeless are drawn) experienced in the past decades and structural failures in the American labor market, hous- ing market and public welfare programs. The book lacks the ideological passion of Michael Harrington's clasic "The Other America" (a kindred work). It is more academic in tone and analysis. However, "Down and Out" is well-organized, well- 1-F00 : ' : Box 68 Montgomery, Indiana 47558 Donald J. Traylor President Phone: 486-3285 i u I JASPER SERVICE ,' AND SHOPPING GUIDE i u Buehlers I.G.A. "THe THRIFTY HOUSEWIFE'S SOURCE OF SAVINGS" QUALITY FOODS and MEATS KREMPP LUMBER CO. WHOLESALE BUILDING MATERIAL DISTRIBUTION & GENERAL CONTRACTING YARD CONSTRUCTION 482-1961 482-6838 JASPER BECHER & KLUESNER FUNERAL HOME Downtown Chapel, 214 E. 7th North hap;I; 33rd Newton I I JASPER - HUNTINGBURG ;[030 Car Wash Centers 3 Automatics 12 Self-serve Bays I JASPER LUMBER CO. COMPLETE BUILDING SERVICE Ph. 482-1125 RT. 4, JASPER argued and full of detailed data problem of homelessness. They relevant to a problem that can can help solve the problem as no longer be ignored. Rossi well, but not without an makes clear what has been enlightened understanding of , learned about homelessness its nature, its scope and its and extreme poverty from causes. "Down and Out in 1 social research of the past America" is a relevant and several years and conveys what timely contribution to this first I this knowledge implies about step. solutions and policymaking. Dinges is a member of the As the author notes, public department of religion and policy decisions are deeply im- religious educatian at the plicated in the creation of the Catholic University of America. , lU iii i Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweller City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Rr=K'lO ,S=V= Dm-,Sulrv=H3o=l= MBuine= - "We Deliver" Comer Riverside and Governor Ewnsvllle 422-9981 i Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer. Owner 2170 W. Franklin St. 425-4364 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescflptlon Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 85&7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Weinbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop 425-4422 | I L