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From the Publisher
"Sociologists Wright and Donley (both, Univ. of Central Florida) begin with the high hopes that Disney World brought to central Florida in 1971, then explore the often hidden world of people living in poverty and homelessness in Disney World’s shadow. Drawing on many years of quantitative and qualitative research, the authors present important topics, including the deleterious effects of shelter life, the realities of homelessness on women and children, life in the woods for the homeless living alone or in encampments, the elderly homeless, and efforts to house homeless individuals, primarily through the Housing First model. They successfully link research findings in Orlando and Miami to homelessness throughout the US… A basic reference on the state of homlessness today in the US… Recommended."
—I. Glasser, CHOICE
“Poor and Homeless in the Sunshine State: Down and Out in Theme Park Nation provides a hard-hitting analysis of conditions in Orlando, Florida, home of DisneyWorld and special interest development groups whose efforts to foster the park have worsened conditions between rich and poor. Those who live in the shadow of one of the richest parks on Earth are documented here in a survey that gathers stories about homelessness in Central Florida. Any interested in either Florida politics and social issues or poverty in America will find this an in-depth, eye-opening probe of lives and politics.”
"Wright and Donley provide a detailed account of the 'other' Orlandonot the phantasmagorical city associated with Disney and tourism, but the down-and-out world of homeless families, day laborers, the mentally ill with no place to go, and the newly needy of Central Florida. Kudos for social science well-done."
– Richard E. Foglesong, Ph.D., George and Harriet Cornell Professor of Politics, Department of Political Science, Rollins College
"Wright and Donley do an extraordinary job of weaving a set of important stories about homeless in Central Florida. This resource-rich volume provides important insights into one of America's greatest woes in one of America's most popular regions of the country."
– Kevin Fitzpatrick, professor & Jones Chair in Community, Community and Family Institute, Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, University of Arkansas
"Poor and Homeless is unique in providing a comprehensive view of homelessness in one community over many years, including aspects not usually encountered. Public perceptions of homeless people and supportive sentiments of community obligations, experiences and opinions of hundreds of volunteers who make Orlando's homeless assistance programs work, the 'Disney' realities of the community's work and poverty environment, and analysis of politics and policy operating within a single community context enhance and contextualize the expected descriptions of homeless men, women, and families. Poor and Homeless is an interesting read, for those well acquainted with writing on homelessness as well as for those who want a lively and informative introduction to the topic."
– Martha R. Burt, Ph.D., Urban Institute