Automotive Holiday Deals Books Gift Guide Books Gift Guide Shop Men's Athletic Shoes Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Prime Music Sweepstakes egg_2015 All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Gifts for Her Amazon Gift Card Offer cm15 cm15 cm15 $30 Off Amazon Echo $30 Off Fire HD 6 Kindle Cyber Monday Deals BestoftheYear Shop Now Tikes

Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

The Homeless

6 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0674405967
ISBN-10: 067440596X
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$21.94 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
Buy new On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
$24.50 On clicking this link, a new layer will be open
More Buying Choices
33 New from $11.50 40 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $16.43
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Amazon Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

Get Up to 80% Back Rent Textbooks
$24.50 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

  • The Homeless
  • +
  • At Home on the Street: People, Poverty, and a Hidden Culture of Homelessness
Total price: $47.00
Buy the selected items together

Special Offers and Product Promotions

  • Take an Extra 30% Off Any Book: Use promo code HOLIDAY30 at checkout to get an extra 30% off any book for a limited time. Excludes Kindle eBooks and Audible Audiobooks. Restrictions apply. Learn more | Shop now

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Noted sociologist Jencks ( Rethinking Social Policy ), who teaches at Northwestern University, here offers a brief but instructive survey and analysis of much literature on the homeless. Concentrating on the "visible homeless" (street people and those using shelters), Jencks agrees that their numbers have risen but also notes that his estimate of 400,000 homeless in 1987-1988 is disputed by many advocacy groups as far too low. He attributes the proliferation of mentally ill homeless people both to liberal policies boosting individual autonomy and to conservative policies that cut mental health budgets. He suggests that the "cumulative effect" of having been born disadvantaged, not merely bad luck, leads to the streets. He blames crack and deinstitutionalization for fueling homelessness among individuals and cites skimpy welfare payments, the growth of single motherhood and crack addiction (again) as leading to homeless families. He recommends certain admittedly stopgap measures: increased welfare payments or subsidized housing for families; a day-labor market supported by government and private sources for working adults; and social services and intervention for the mentally ill.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

In this brief but thoughtful analysis of homelessness, Jencks, a sociology professor at Northwestern University, focuses on what he calls the "visible homeless": those who "slept in a public place or a shelter" (the latter includes welfare hotels) during a given week. After wrestling with the numbers (appendixes spell out the methodology used and provide supplementary tables), Jencks discusses in some detail the factors he feels are most significant in pushing Americans onto the streets: deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill, crack cocaine, joblessness and declining marriage rates, reduced welfare benefits, and the destruction of skid rows across the country. A final chapter offers "Some Partial Solutions"; among them, cubicle hotels to give homeless people a bit of privacy and stability; recognition that, even with training, many former welfare mothers will need continuing subsidies; a publicly run day-labor market for childless homeless adults who can work, and improved disability benefits for those who cannot; and vouchers to allow homeless Americans to select support services they feel are worthwhile. Jencks' concessions to political realities will make his study controversial. Mary Carroll --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Hero Quick Promo
Holiday Deals in Kindle Books
Save up to 85% on more than 1,000 Kindle Books. These deals are valid until November 30, 2015. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press (March 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 067440596X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0674405967
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,697 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Kenneth E. Wagner Jr. on December 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jencks is one of the best sociologists in the world. He is a liberal, but you would not know it from this work (not that this work is 'conservative'). Here what you get is concise, well investigated and well written social science by one of the best. Jencks calmly demolishes myths about the homeless, and then walks through the various causal explanations offered by the right and left. Where he finds support he publishes it, and thats a lot considering the politicized nature of much social science. This book, though dated now, would be essential reading for those who want to understand or help the homeless in the U.S.. What really impresses me about his work is his humility about what social science does and can do while demonstrating its merits through his analysis.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Terri Merritts on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As someone raised by parents who volunteered with the homeless (and often took in elderly and disabled ones) and who has spent her whole life volunteering with the homeless, I like to learn all I can to make myself even more effective as a volunteer and an advocate. This book only succeeded in giving me a headache before putting me to sleep.

This is not written in a clear narrative but is instead quite choppy. The author admits that the statistics he is including are just guesses but bases his conclusions on them anyway. For example, at the time of the writing of this book, the Census Bureau and those who supplied statistics about how many people are homeless did NOT count those who lived in parks, in subway stations, in abandoned buildings,under bridges, in doorways, in parks, in cars, and in other places than homeless shelters as being homeless. They also did not count teen runaways who lived on the streets. Now obviously all of these people ARE homeless but if you only count people who are in a homeless shelter on a given night, you miss most homeless people.

I am one who is a stickler for research and verifiable facts, not just guesswork and all of this dry-as-dust book is based pretty much on guesswork with the caveat that research or facts in the situation are not available.

The author raises many of the reasons given for homelessness but then shoots them down using data he admits is not applicable or based on research with homeless people. I think he really needed to actually go out and do research on the homeless or forego writing this book altogether. Guesswork is NOT social science which is based on research and facts. There are no case histories of actual homeless people included nor did the writer do any research on them. To find out why people are homeless, you need to go to the homeless and find out the facts.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Alf (Darryl Ashton) Garnett JNR! on December 27, 2014
Format: Paperback

The homeless do need
help - not condemnation
every day,
We should help them
more - in our own way.
A smile and a chat - or
a cup of tea to give,
And maybe a sandwich -
we all should forgive.

It happens every day -
and they feel such
The homeless are all
human - this is true
Walking the streets
they do - often feeling
But we can make a
little difference - and
good cheer is good to

The homeless just
want a home - just like
you and me;
'They're even willing to
pay for it - in rent for
all to see?'
The bedroom tax doesn't
help them - nor the local
If they help the homeless
to get a home - they're
hit by a sanctions swizz!!

The homeless want to
work - and pay taxes like
all other people -
They don't want any hand-
outs - this is pure and
The welfare advisers
are like computers -
"Next person, please? It's
all electronic disorders?"

The homeless wander
from place to place -
Just trying to get a grip
on the human race?
In cold weather they
will freeze -
In warm weather - they
feel at ease!
But, being homeless isn't
nice - and no one should
live like this -
If only with a little help -
their life could be so bliss!

A hot bath - and a good
hot meal, can perk your
spirits high,
And when you're out of
the rain - your clothes will
feel so dry?
A little compassion - and
a will to care -
To eradicate this homeless
problem - we do it because
we dare?
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
The Homeless
This item: The Homeless
Price: $24.50
Ships from and sold by

Want to discover more products? Check out these pages to see more: homeless shelters, housing the homeless, being homeless