Home at Last
Home at Last
Or (the more accurate title): Post-Homelessness and the Reality of Being Poor
This chapter explores the overlap of being poor and being homeless. Both conditions are persistently plagued by little or variable disposable income. Both are immersed in an ongoing accounting and verification process with social, government, and legal agencies, and both depend on the same, often predatory businesses to conduct one's life. To illuminate this, the chapter recounts three trips with Ross Moore and/or his wife, Wendi: a visit to a pawnshop, a visit to a free food store, and a visit to a federal housing office. These three visits demonstrate that the line between being homeless and simply being poor is thin at best, maybe even imaginary, because, like Ross and Wendi, people go back and forth between the categories. They show that “living poor” shares the same qualities of vulnerability, uncertainty, and looming authority that shape the lives of the homeless.
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