The specter of homelessness is a frightening presence in the lives of many Americans. To date, there are an estimated three million homeless in the United States, most of them children, women, veterans, the elderly, and the mentally ill. But there are also millions of people who are separated from homelessness by only a very thin line, a line that could instantly be crossed as the result of accident, family illness, loss of a job, or death of a spouse.
This special issue of the New England Journal of Public Policy addresses the particular needs and concerns of homeless people in the six New England states. Reflecting the latest scholarship and social policy, more than sixty contributors--among them public service professionals, advocacy group members, policy -makers, theorists, and researchers--offer their thoughts an expertise. To their ideas and insights are added the poems and prose writings of some of the homeless themselves.
Together, these pieces make a vital contribution toward our understanding of homelessness and provide a framework for creating wise policy designed to protect the least fortunate in our society.