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ENGL 101 - Fall 2021 - McKenna: Homelessness

This guide will help students in McKenna's class find sources on homelessness.


Information Resources on Homelessness

 Homeless person

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


Spokane Area Homeless Resources

Contacting Tim

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Tim Aman, Reference Services Librarian


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Readings for Synthesis Essay

Abramsky, Sasha. “Boardwalk Slum.” Nation, vol. 313, no. 4, Aug. 2021, pp. 20–25. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=151749083&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

"In our building, it’s 75 percent Airbnb”, says a Venice resident who lives in a large complex a couple of blocks from the coast. "Tenants were disappearing and being replaced by revolving-door strangers", says Judy Goldman, a longtime Los Angeles resident who is the cofounder of an affordable housing advocacy group called Keep Neighborhoods First. Features Venice is Los Angeles’s Bohemia. Of the more than 35,000 residents of Venice, nearly 2,000 are homeless people living on the streets, according to a Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority count from January 2020. [Extracted from the article],shib&db=a9h&AN=151749083&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Feldman, Lindsey Raisa, and Michael Vicente Pérez. “Living at the LUX: Homelessness and Improvisational Waiting under COVID19.” Visual Anthropology Review, vol. 36, no. 2, Fall 2020, pp. 379–400. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/var.12216.

This photoessay engages with the central theme of waiting under COVID19 among a group of homeless women at the LUX hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. The images and text capture the structural shelterinplace conditions and how the women worked within those regulations to construct a new relationship to time and the self. The images in this essay reflect what we call improvisational waiting, a concept that emphasizes the creative ways women at the LUX turned experiences of waiting into novel rhythms of life that held the promise of a better future.,shib&db=asu&AN=147673676&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Goldstone, Brian. “The Homeless Many.” New Republic, vol. 250, no. 9, Sept. 2019, pp. 38–47. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=137881357&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

The article discusses economic factors which contribute to the increasing housing insecurity in developing cities in the U.S. Topics explored include the economic and population growth in cities with high homelessness rates such as New York City and Washington, D.C., the financial constraints being faced by workers such as teachers and medical assistants to sustain rent and utilities, and the comparison between wage increase and housing costs.,shib&db=a9h&AN=137881357&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Heller, Nathan. “Window Onto an American Nightmare.” The New Yorker.

This essay provides both written and audio versions. Essay begins with written portraits of individuals who've "slid" into homelessness, almost imperceptibly. Offers national insights and observations of living circumstances, social contexts, and political shifts affecting the homeless.

Luscombe, Belinda. “No Place to Shelter.” TIME Magazine, vol. 196, no. 5/6, Aug. 2020, pp. 86–89. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=144757182&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

The article features the case of African American homeless person Constance Woodson to discuss the issue of homelessness in the U.S. Also cited are the highest number of homeless people in New York City among metropolitan areas, the percentage of homeless African Americans based on data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the expected rise in the number of homeless people due to unemployment caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.,shib&db=a9h&AN=144757182&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Maharidge, Dale. “How America Chose Homelessness.” Nation, vol. 312, no. 2, Jan. 2021, pp. 16–32. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=147936022&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

Features advocates have been sounding the alarms for months - issuing reports, penning press releases, warning politicians as an increasing number of Americans made jobless by the pandemic have fallen behind on their rent. The origins of this choice go back further - past 2017, the year the National Alliance to End Homelessness estimated that there were more than 550,000 homeless people in the United States; past 2008 and the last eviction crisis; past the early aughts and the 1990s; and all the way back to the 1980s, the beginning of a new kind of homelessness. According to the August report by the team of housing experts, nearly half of all renter households in the United States "were already rental cost-burdened", which means paying more than 30 percent of monthly income on rent. [Extracted from the article],shib&db=a9h&AN=147936022&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Parker, James. "How Am I Feeling? Like a Wandering Wind.” The Atlantic Monthly, vol. 325, no. 5, 06, 2020, pp. 90-91. ProQuest,

[...]when the shit hits the fan they will be the first to run and hide, and the people living on the streets will be there to maybe help and maybe not. Six feet back!" No one, these writers have taught me, is more attuned to the flinch of a squeamish citizen, no one knows better the phobia that passes as everyday fastidiousness, than the person who has lived on the street. Homelessness is a life of exposure, and hazard, and loss of control.

Radley, Alan, et al. “From Means to Occasion: Walking in the Life of Homeless People.” Visual Studies, vol. 25, no. 1, Apr. 2010, pp. 36–45. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1080/14725861003606845.

This article discusses walking by homeless people, who were asked to take photographs of their everyday lives. These individuals walked to take their pictures, and they used their photographs to explain the walking that homeless people do. Stories about photographs taken were used to explain the significance of different modes of walking, as means, as condition and as occasion. Rather than see walking as integral with a kind of method - or ready-made technique - the authors argue that whatever walking 'is' emerges in the course of producing (not just analysing) that experience. They suggest that walking tears at the fabric of symbols and voiced conventions to produce traces and dissonances that invite repair - repair through 'storying' the journeys made.,shib&db=asu&AN=49142327&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Shepard, Jerri, and Deborah Booth. “Heart to Heart Art Empowering Homeless Children and Youth.” Reclaiming Children & Youth, vol. 18, no. 1, Spring 2009, pp. 12–15. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=39568817&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

The article provides a brief account of Heat to Heart Art. It is an after-school program developed for homeless children and youth at the YWCA in Spokane, Washington with the goal of bridging the gap between the community and the Gonzaga University. The program includes two faculty members from the School of Education with extensive background on marginalized students and at-risk youth, volunteers coordinator from the YWCA and a representative from the Gonzaga University's Center for Community Action and Service Learning.,shib&db=a9h&AN=39568817&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Sparks, Sarah D. “Coordinator Ensures Homeless Students Are Seen During Pandemic.” Education Week, vol. 40, no. 22, Feb. 2021, pp. 38–41. EBSCOhost,,shib&db=a9h&AN=148793072&site=ehost-live&scope=site.

The article focuses on Amy Perusse, coordinator of Kids In Transition Program at Everett Public Schools in Everett, Washington. Topics discussed include challenge of student homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase in child poverty and homelessness; and Perusse coordinate academic and transition services for high school students in the Snohomish County juvenile justice facility school.,shib&db=a9h&AN=148793072&site=ehost-live&scope=site

Torres, Bumdog. “6 Feet Back From Life: A Homeless Man’s Photo Essay on Life During Coronavirus.”

This photo essay offers a first-person account of how Coronavirus has impacted the lives of many living homeless in Southern California. The writer and photographer, Bumdog Torres, provides insight into what it means to be homeless during a pandemic as well as poignant portraits -- both written and photographic.  This photo essay provides an intimate look into the lives and personalities of those living on the streets of LA without permanent shelter.

Tower, Wells. "Own Goal: How Homeless Soccer Explains the World." Harper's Magazine, vol. 320, no. 1921, 06, 2010, pp. 38-41,44-50. ProQuest,

At the moment, minutes before 8 p.M. on Cup eve, it's looking like the weekend's going to be a nonstarter on all counts for New York, seeing as the tournament kicks off in twelve hours and the New York players and coaching staff are marooned on the shelter's parking lot in the middle of the East River because Miss Rose, a terse and stolid bureaucrat in charge of the shelter's motor pool, will release only a single Toyota minivan built for six to transport the seven players, plus driver, coach, media entourage, and gear, the five hours south. When Chris proposes that he shuttle three players in his own automobile, Miss Rose says that this isn't possible, either. Because of legal liabilities, the shelter is permitted to release its residents exclusively to the guardianship of HELP-SEC employees, which means that any player departing the shelter grounds in the unapproved custody of Chris Murray, an unpaid volunteer, would probably return from the weekend of feeling like a winner in D.C. to find that his bed had been given away.

Walters, Daniel. “What happened to Spokane’s ‘one-stop shop’ to fight homelessness?” Inlander.

20 May 2021, explores the various agencies and efficacy of Spokane Resource Center, an inclusive resource (bringing together many agencies devoted to serving the homeless and providing a wide range of services meeting the needs of various demographics) to serve the homeless. This article uses input from several policy makers and public servants to explore the effectiveness of the Spokane Resource Center. Also provides information about how the center was hit by the pandemic.

Zald, Joan Kadri. “Faces of the Homeless: A Photo Essay.” City & Community, vol. 3, no. 1, Mar. 2004, pp. 29–41.

These portraits were taken in shelters, soup kitchens, transitional housing, and on city streets. The intent was to record the faces of the homeless, capture their humanity, and show the diverse range of people who become homeless. Photographs were also selected to show the different kinds or stages of homelessness: the recently dislocated and the episodically, as well as the chronically, homeless.

[article access pending]