While he makes his case with the persuasive deployment of research, at the heart of Haggerty’s book is the Mather Community Campus. The success stories he recounts are heartening, as are his portraits of the dedicated staff and volunteers who guided “clients” through classes, community service, meetings, and, if necessary, support groups for addiction. The story of the end of this program that helped many exit homelessness, in 2019, is heartbreaking. (The facility currently serves as a shelter offering scant services.)
More a problem-solver than a polemicist, Haggerty acknowledges that Housing First programs have a place in a robust, community-driven effort to eliminate homelessness. But in clear-eyed prose drawing on firsthand experience he lays bare how that approach is not enough, failing to provide the tools it takes to help people with mental, physical, and addiction issues achieve self-sufficiency. He’s realistic about the funding realities at the federal level that have ushered in this change but adamant that the best approach is not necessarily the one that he and Mather found success with—it’s whatever one a community finds that best meets the needs of its particular population.
Takeaway: A persuasive account calling for local control and greater services for programs to assist the unhoused.
Great for fans of: How Ten Global Cities Take On Homelessnes, Josephine Ensign’s Skid Row.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A