Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind: Homeless Children and Families in Small-Town America


"Homelessness in small towns and rural areas is on the rise. Drawing on interviews with and case studies of three hundred children and their families, with supporting statistics from federal, state, and private agencies, Vissing illustrates the impact this social problem has upon education, health, and the economy."

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"Homelessness in small towns and rural areas is on the rise. Drawing on interviews with and case studies of three hundred children and their families, with supporting statistics from federal, state, and private agencies, Vissing illustrates the impact this social problem has upon education, health, and the economy."

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Mixes a wide reading of available studies and investigations with her own interviews and field work.... The blend of broad, faceless, statistical descriptions with firsthand commentary by the humans behind them makes for compelling reading and a powerful argument." — Arkansas Historical Quarterly

"This very readable book offers a valuable addition and counterpoint to the abundance of literature about the homeless in urban America. Vissing dispels many of the traditional myths about homelessness in small-town America" — The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In six years of research in New Hampshire, sociologist Vissing saw runaway teens, malnourished children, and upside-down family functioning in which child nurtures parent. Small-town homelessness, Vissing contends, is as bad as, and often worse than, urban. While the rural homeless "live in chaos, out of the chaos there results an orderly existence." Unfortunately, neither contention is well developed. Instead of a sharp focus, Vissing offers a sprawling literature review with snippets from her own findings woven throughout. Vissing prefers the terms housing distress and displacement to homelessness, and these bring within her purview not only people on the streets but families living in trailer parks and campgrounds, and those unfortunates doubling up with relatives. Interview quotes have the ring of truth, but jargon, overly elastic categories and subjective reporting muddy the discussion. Frequently, Vissing crosses the line from analyzing to sermonizing: "Imagine how much better and more appropriate poor, distressed parents would be if they had the same resources as other parents!" "Many heroic students were interviewed." However, she offers sensible advice to social workers and community activists, and the 679-item bibliography will give sociology students something to mull over. Photos by the author. (June)
Library Journal
Vissing (sociology, Salem State Coll.), who has worked extensively with social service agencies, draws on six years of study to inform us that homelessness is no longer just an urban problem. She further contends that in rural areas it has assumed a different character; children and families are being stricken in large numbers, with peculiarly rural factors such as the lack of jobs, housing, and social services exacerbating the situation. Vissing examines the causes and offers steps toward solutions. Throughout her book, she allows the homeless to speak for themselves. Recommended for public and academic libraries.Jim G. Burns, Ottumwa, Ia.
Menendez (former statistician with the Bureau of Labor Statistics and associate director of Americans for Religious Liberty) offers a statistical analysis of the 20 million voters who voted for Perot. Drawing on county voting data, select precinct data, and exit polls, Menendez examines the gender, race, education, economic situation, and geographic characteristics of the Perot voter. The author argues that Perot's message has a wide appeal to a powerful voting base which may affect future elections. Lacks an index and bibliography. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813108728
  • Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
  • Publication date: 10/1/2006
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 Identifying Homeless Children and Families in Rural Areas 6
2 The Catastrophic Assault on the Family 31
3 Homelessness: It's Enough to Make You Sick 52
4 Homelessness: It's Enough to Drive You Crazy 70
5 Kids Can't Think When They've Got No Place to Sleep 91
6 Reaping What You Sow: Economic Crises in Rural Areas 103
7 Lack of Affordable Housing in Rural America 121
8 Getting the Rural Homeless the Help They Need 134
9 A Framework for Understanding Rural Homelessness 160
10 Bringing the Community Together to Solve Homelessness 176
11 Doing What It Takes 187
Appendix A: My Wild Gypsy Life 215
Appendix B: Summary of Causes of Rural Child-Family Homelessness 229
Bibliography 233
Index 266
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2011

    Typical Hippie Views...

    Socialism...Doesn't work. This Author is a quack!!! I gave a one star, because they wouldn't allow me to leave it blank!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2007

    Hmm... this is a book review :]

    I feel that this book is very beneficial to read if you are an individual who admires sociology and have the desire to learn about homelessness from an indepth perception. For my reading style, this book did not capture my attention completely. The way that the information was presented to the reader was extremely organized and each section gives authentic excerpts from people in various situations that relate to the topic being discussed. The book stresses on important matters and allows the reader to get backed up facts. If you are not one who likes to read about facts, rather than have the traditional story line, you probably would not enjoy this book that much.

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