The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 33–51 | Cite as

In Defense of Homelessness

  • Andrew F. SmithEmail author

“Homelessness simply is not an acceptable lifestyle to us.”

—Major William G. Nottle, Salvation Army1

“Avoiding officially sanctioned shelters at all costs, the homeless take refuge almost anywhere else—in alleys, parks, tunnels, and abandoned buildings, under bridges, and so on. The police have to roust them from these areas regularly, because if the homeless become comfortable anywhere, what motive have they to stop being homeless? The trouble is, for some strange reason, it doesn’t work worth a damn.”

—Daniel Quinn2


David Wagner asserts that Americans tend to view the homeless in one of three ways. The most common is a hostile and judgmental view whereby the homeless are regarded as “disruptive of the public order.”3Those who hold this view demand that the homeless pull themselves together and return to work and a proper family life—or, barring this, to simply disappear from sight. Less widespread is a charitable view whereby the homeless must be shown compassion and...


Homeless Youth Informal Economy Institutional Response Underground Economy Collective Control 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of English and PhilosophyDrexel UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations