I've worked with and known homeless people for over 40 years, on the Near West Side of Cleveland. Homeless people and the larger society often blame homeless people for their homelessness. Daniel Kerr, author of "Derelict Paradise: Homelessness and Urban Development in Cleveland, Ohio", explains that there are economic forces that actually benefit from homelessness, and thus ,in a sense "cause" homelessness.
I'm going to read Kerr's book. I need to know more about this idea. And, having learned more, I want the larger society to know more, so that people who blame the homeless for their situation can begin to understand who actually profits from the existence of homeless people in society.
On today's Sound of Ideas program on WCPN 90.3, Kerr pointed out that homlessless peole are often hired for punchpress jobs through day labor agencies, which pay, after fees are taken out, less than minimum wage. You can't pay rent with a job that pays less than minimum wage. He comments that, in the 1950's, punch press jobs paid people enough to allow them to finance buying a house.
So, let's explore this. What'sup?
Posted Mar 28, 2012