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Homelessness in Our Community

HNRS 2020 Sec. 050 - Spring 2023

Associate Professor Kerri Tobin School of Education

Tu Th 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
200 French House

Homelessness in the United States is a significant social problem, and one that can seem intractable. But there are ways we can understand the issue more deeply, and there are approaches that have worked and are working to get individuals and families into permanent housing. In this course, we will explore the following questions:

  1. How is homelessness defined? How do those definitions impact how the public and policymakers think about the issue?
  2. What is the experience of homelessness like?
  3. What is the impact of living without a home on a) babies and toddlers, b) school-aged children, c) teens, d) people in middle age, and e) the elderly?
  4. What programs exist and have existed to address homelessness in the United States, and since when?

Because these are difficult questions that engage very basic value and ethical orientations, we will not be able to come to major conclusions or figure everything out, so to speak. Foundational issues of race, class, gender, and sexual identity factor into who experiences homelessness, so these conversations are often difficult to disentangle from larger social issues. The goal of this course is to get us thinking about all the complicated facets of homelessness and how we can contribute to learning more and making the situation better.

Fulfills General Education:

English Composition
Social Sciences