Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women by Elliot Liebow
He observes them, creating portraits that are intimate and objective, while breaking down stereotypes and dehumanizing labels often used to describe the homeless. Liebow writes about their daily habits, constant struggles, their humor, compassion and strength.
Elliot Liebow was a celebrated anthropologist and sociologist, best known for his books Tally's Corner and Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women. A graduate of George Washington University, the University of Maryland, and Catholic University, Liebow served for many years at the National Institute of Mental Health as chief of the Center for the Study of Work and Mental Health, followed by a period spent volunteering at a homeless shelter for women. In 1990, he was appointed to the Patrick Cardinal O'Boyle Professorship at Catholic University's National Catholic School for Social Service, a position he held until his death in 1994.Liebow received numerous awards and honors in his lifetime. Among others, they include the National Alliance to End Homelessness's John W. Macy Award, the President's Medal of the Catholic University of America, and the Lee Founders Award of the Society for the Study of Social Problems.
Table of Contents
Preface: A Soft Beginning Introduction: The Women, the Shelters, and the Round of Life
PART ONE: Problems in Living 1. Day by Day 2. Work and Jobs 3. Family 4. The Servers and the Served
PART TWO: Making It: Body and Soul 5. My Friends, My God, Myself 6. Making It Together 7. Some Thoughts on Homelessness
Appendixes A. Where Are They Now? B. Life Histories C. How Many Homeless People? D. Social Service Programs E. Research Methods and Writing
Tell Them Who I Am: The Lives of Homeless Women 3.5 out of 5based on
More than 1 year ago
I like non fiction books about subjects that interest me. Stories about homeless interest me and have for years and I have been working at a homeless center for a year now and the stories or incidents in this book really give me a lot to think about. I read this book in about three days, I would have tried to finish it sooner if I had the time.
The life stories of the women featured are certainly interesting but two occurances that really stick out are one's that may be overlooked because they don't feature prominently with the regular women however they have stuck with me since the day I read them. the first is when a woman named Irma (only featured once in this small story) was could not get into the shelter and she slept in her car during a snow storm night and when she woke up the snow was plowed over her car. The next story was about a woman who was attacked during the night when she was exited from the shelter. These two stories stay with me because a primary reason for shelters being run is for protection from the elements and to homeless with no place to go and sometimes with no protection the elements are not only cold, snow but maybe attacks. I would hope these type of stories from the book that show the downside of shelter operations will show readers the right decisions to make in offering protection from all elements.
The women featured in the book are very interesting and their stories remain with my thoughts. About a month has passed since I purchased the book and I still go back to read it and look and go over the stories I remember and also scan the book to see if there's anything I missed the first time.
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