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The causes of homelessness are disputed by both Right and Left. But, few would argue that life on the streets is anything other than dangerous and debilitating.
Unemployment, deinstitutionalisation, abuse in the home are among the stories the homeless tell. Voluntary organisations point to the failure of emergency shelters and food banks, the cut-backs in social programmes and the severe shortage of affordable housing. On the international scale, the changing global system has placed new demands on the economies of Europe and north America which have impacted on resources, employment and even political will.
This book is the first comprehensive international study of homelessness. The author argues that the category of the homeless must itself be broadened, to encompass those chronically without shelter to those in immediate risk of dispossession, if homelessness is to be tackled effectively (before and after it happens) by public policy, voluntary organisations and the individuals themselves.

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