EvictedFrom Matthew Desmond, Harvard sociology professor and author of the best-selling Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City (2016):

Those of us who don’t live in trailer parks or inner cities might think low-income families typically benefit from public housing or some other kind of government assistance. But the opposite is true. Three-quarters of families who qualify for housing assistance don’t get it because there simply isn’t enough to go around. This arrangement would be unthinkable with other social services that cover basic needs. What if food stamps only covered one in four families? Continue reading “Evicted”

American Myths About Poverty

Photo: A Church in Northwest Detroit on Rosa Parks Blvd.
Northwest Detroit on Rosa Parks Blvd.
Some highlights from Eduardo Porter’s recent New York Times piece “The Myth of Welfare’s Corrupting Influence on the Poor“…just more evidence that social analysis must always trump “conventional wisdom.”

Today, almost 20 years after Mr. Clinton signed a law that stopped the federal entitlement to cash assistance for low-income families with children, the argument has solidified into a core tenet influencing social policy not only in the United States but also around the world.

And yet, to a significant degree, it is wrong. Actual experience, from the richest country in the world to some of the poorest places on the planet, suggests that cash assistance can be of enormous help for the poor. And freeing them from what President <a title="More articles about Ronald Wilson Reagan." Continue reading “American Myths About Poverty”

The Pedagogy of Place: The Art of Coping

By Tommy Airey, the first post of a 3-part series about how we learn from our location about what is truly Divine
Every town has the same two malls: the one white people go to and the one white people used to go to.
Chris Rock

About a month ago, I drove just across 8 mile (the border between Detroit and Southfield) to visit the mall that white people used to go to. I went for one reason: it was closing that week and everything was 60-80% off. I was the only white dude in there. It felt good because it was like I was breaking Chris Rock’s rules.
Continue reading “The Pedagogy of Place: The Art of Coping”