Eradicating homelessness: It's time to seek the help of those who've survived it.

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In their new book, Journeys out of Homelessness: The Voices of Lived Experience, Jamie Rife and Donald Burnes along with many survivors, bring the experience of homelessness to life.

The individual journeys explored in this book underscore the incredibly resilient nature of those fighting to exit the dark tunnel of homelessness.

Contrary to what many may believe, stories do exist of people who have successfully left homelessness, which raises the question: How have they done it? And going further: Can we recreate the conditions that helped them most? What policies are needed to support what worked—and to remove common obstacles?

Addressing these questions, Rife and Burnes explain that the most important voices in efforts to end homelessness are the ones most often missing from the discussion: the voices of those with lived experience. The authors gather the first-person stories of some who have not only survived, but thrived, going on to find positive home situations.

“Giving voice to individuals who have experienced homelessness, Rife, Burnes, and their colleagues provide readers with in-depth knowledge of what it means to be homeless in the United States.... They also propose recommendations to end homelessness. Their book is an important contribution to our ability to address a grand challenge of our society.” —James Herbert Williams, Arizona State University

“The individual journeys explored in this book underscore the incredibly resilient nature of those fighting to exit the dark tunnel of homelessness.... In response to the journeys presented, the authors clarify the micro and macro nature of this issue.... The book empowers each of us working in this field to continue our efforts, to work smart, and to work together. Doing so may allow us to answer the book’s important final question—will we ever end homelessness?” —George Hancock, executive director, National Center for Homeless Education

Highlighting what we can learn from these personal stories, Rife and Burnes combine them with in-depth discussions of key themes and issues and point to the shifts necessary in current policy and practice that are essential if we are to effectively respond to a problem that has reached epic proportions.

Jamie Rife is cofounder and head of operations at Purposity, a nonprofit crowd-funding platform that fosters the creation of online networks of support for individuals dealing with poverty and homelessness. Donald W. Burnes is founder of and adviser to the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness at the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. He is coeditor (with David L. DiLeo) of Ending Homelessness: Why We Haven’t, How We Can.

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Sally Glover
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