: Michael Reid
: 18.87 MB
NO VACANCY, HOMELESS WOMEN IN PARADISE, describes an incredible journey of Michael E. Reid's discovery of 500 women living without shelter in one of the most affluent sea-side communities in California, to uncovering the complicated reasons for its existence - even in the place so many call ¿paradise.¿ One by one, their bodies were being found dead in plain sight. Women who could no longer afford record-breaking rents were being forced out of their homes, and found it impossible to secure affordable housing. White, single women in their 60s, 70s and 80s were sleeping in their cars, living under freeways, camping on the beach, while convalescing from breast cancer and other illnesses, high above the glittering cities of Monterey, Pebble Beach and Carmel. When Reid, an Episcopalian priest, found out he took action. He was compelled co-found the Fund for Homeless Women, which he now manages full time. NO VACANCY captures Reid's journey into this landscape with personal essays that delve into the complex realities of homelessness. By exploring the private spaces that those who are homeless create for themselves, as well as their prevailing social mores, Reid explains how well-intentioned policies and programs often only widen the gap between the indigent and mainstream society by sharing these women's stories. The result is an unvarnished look at the culture of long-term homelessness and a fresh approach to reaching this resurgent population. Reid also explores issues related to marginalization, belonging, and the effects of long-term gender-based bias in sociocultural practices as it particularly relates to women and people of color. This is especially relevant today when communities face weakened political and financial support from the government and their communities. In the United States, we all live with the growing reality of homelessness, even in the places where one least expects it. NO VACANCY will inspire and encourage readers to take the next step to help make a difference for the greater good, and the circuitous road of grassroots social change.