Cover image for Homelessness : whose problem is it?
Homelessness : whose problem is it?
Gottfried, Ted.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Brookfield, CT : Millbrook Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
128 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm.
Discusses the issue of homelessness, examining who the homless are, how they become that way, and differing views on how to deal with the problem.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 9.3 4.0 28996.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HV4505 .G68 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



With a clear writing style that employs plenty of examples, Ted Gottfried begins his discussion by examining the history of homelessness in this country and the difficult issues surrounding the homeless, such as the difficulties involved in getting an accurate count of the homeless, and just who they are and why they are in that situation. The opposing sides of whose problem homelessness is and how the problem should be solved, as well as a discussion of welfare reform and how it affects the homeless, are presented fairly and accurately as readers are invited to formulate their own opinions. The book also includes a list of organizations to contact for more information.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 6^-12. Is homelessness the fault of the individual or society? Is the individual responsible for coping with it, or is government? What efforts have been made to counter it, and how successful have they been? In a methodically evenhanded consideration of these and related issues, Gottfried looks at the history of homelessness in this country, from the landing of the Pilgrims to the Welfare Reform Act of 1996. Drawing from cited secondary sources, he presents opposing points of view with a mix of brief quotes, paraphrased arguments, specific cases, and the occasional muddy, black-and-white photo. This utilitarian collection builder does what it sets out to do, giving readers a framework for developing either (or, ideally, both) written assignments or personal opinions; although it has no URL list, it does back up a brief bibliography with a list of addresses. --John Peters

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7 Up-Gottfried offers a statistical picture of homeless America as well as a comprehensive history of this persistent societal problem. Although he acknowledges his activist stand on behalf of the homeless, he conveys a broad range of opinions. He also does an excellent job of presenting associated problems such as poverty, violence, mental illness, substance abuse, immigration, limited schooling, lack of skills, and single motherhood. The author probes the effects of major public-policy decisions that have affected the homeless: deinstitutionalization, rent control, and the 1996 Welfare Reform Act. However, the problem is occasionally framed in terms of simplistic, admittedly "extreme" positions, whereby the homeless are regarded as either victims of society who require massive Federal support or as dependent slackers who are candidates for "tough love" treatment. The author questions liberal positions in a general way. Conservative opinion is personified with references to Ronald Reagan, Rush Limbaugh, and the staff of the Heritage Foundation. The issue of homelessness is touched upon in Arlene Erlbach's Everything You Need to Know if Your Family Is on Welfare (Rosen, 1998) and Gail Stewart's Mothers on Welfare (Lucent, 1997). Laurie Rozakis's Homelessness (21st Century, 1995) deals with the topic in a sympathetic manner. Tamara Roleff's The Homeless (Greenhaven, 1996) is also a good supplement.-Libby K. White, Jewish Vocational Services, Baltimore, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.