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Weekend Recs: Homelessness and the Housing Crisis

Happy Friday, Wildcats! Falvey Library is delivering you another semester of Weekend Recs, a blog dedicated to filling you in on what to read, listen to, and watch over the weekend. Annie, a graduate assistant from the Communication department, scours the internet, peruses the news, and digs through book stacks to find new, relevant, and thought-provoking content that will challenge you and prepare you for the upcoming week. 

As most of us are aware, homelessness is a humanitarian crisis that has existed for decades (and centuries) in the U.S., and the incredibly high rent and real estate prices have not made things any easier. In addition to the economic and logistical hardships, people who experience homelessness can often be dehumanized in society. This weekend’s recs will share some pieces that shine light on the diverse stories and experiences of homeless people.

If you have 10 minutes…and want to debunk some of the common misconceptions about homeless people, read this NYU piece.

If you have 15 minutes…and aren’t aware of how inefficient the system is, read this New York Times piece chronicling a college student’s struggle to find an apartment that would accept her Section 8 housing voucher.

If you have another 15 minutes…and want to learn about a potential solution to high housing prices, read this article about tiny homes, as an alternative to large, exorbitantly priced houses.

Bonus: if you want to learn about another solution to the housing crisis, check out this article that details the Marcy Lab School program spearheaded by Restoration, an organization with goals of aiding and developing low-income areas in New York.

If you have 20 minutes…and want to hear from homeless people, read this New York Times profile of 30 people who have experienced homelessness. This piece follows a Q&A format to share the diverse experiences of people without homes.

If you have 40 minutes…and want to watch a recent documentary on homelessness, watch Lead Me Home. This Netflix documentary shares the stories of homeless people living on the West Coast.

If you have 1 hour and 48 minutes…and are interested in the trials and tribulations of van-life, watch Nomadland. Directed by Chloe Zhao, this film follows the adventures of a 60-year-old woman who travels across America in a van after her life is upended by the 2008 recession.

Bonus: listen to the book the movie is based on, available as an audiobook through Falvey.

If you have 8 hours…and want to read one of the most popular books that shares the stories and shines humanity on homeless women, read Elliot Liebow’s Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women, available at Falvey.

If you have 9 hours and 5 minutes…and want to watch an emotional series that grapples with homelessness and domestic abuse, watch Maid on Netflix. This series, following young mother Alex who escapes an abusive boyfriend with her 3-year-old daughter Maddie, balances the heart-wrenching hardships that come from domestic abuse and homelessness with moments of finding joy in unsuspecting places.

Bonus: if you want to read the memoir that this series is based on, read Maid: Hard Work, Low Pay, and a Mother’s Will to Survive, available through Inter-Library Loan.

Annie Stockmal is a graduate student in the Communication Department and Graduate Assistant at Falvey Library.



Last Modified: February 24, 2023

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