Last week I just finished reading Evicted by Matthew Desmond. It is a book that I will be thinking about for a very very long time. The book follows the lives of a handful of families in Milwaukee who have either fallen into drugs or came from an endless cycle of abuse and poverty.  It is a heart-wrenching reminder of how some of the laws and systems in this country create an endless a cycle of despair.

Desmond writes without prejudice, he simply just tells the facts and that is what others outside of this cycle need to read.  It is housing that is our basic need more than anything else.  Without a roof over our heads, with out a safe place to live, without a sense of community or family under that roof, the next generation of children growing up in squalor and fear of constant eviction that seems to be a way of life, we will never break the cycle of despair.

The essay in the last chapter is Demonds thought process on policy.  Desmond himself grew up not that different than the people he writes about in the book.  He believes and shows data that we would actually save money having a universal voucher program.  It would reduce homelessness and healthcare and more importantly it will allow people to be locked into spending only 30% of their income on housing allowing the rest to be spent on other basic needs.  Less evictions would also give the next generation the much-needed opportunity to have hope to be anything they want to be and every child should be given the hope that they can be anything or do anything they want to be when they grow up.

Read the book.

Comments (Archived):

  1. Susan Rubinsky

    I’ve always said that, as a nation, if we just solved poverty, then everything else would be much easier to solve from there. I can’t wait to read this!

    1. Gotham Gal

      You are spot on.