The Man in the Dog Park
Coming Up Close to Homelessness
by Cathy A. Small
Pub Date 15 Apr 2020
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The Man in the Dog Park offers the reader a rare window into homeless life. Spurred by a personal relationship with a homeless man who became her co-author, Cathy A. Small takes a compelling look at what it means and what it takes to be homeless. Interviews and encounters with dozens of homeless people lead us into a world that most have never seen. We travel as an intimate observer into the places that many homeless frequent, including a community shelter, a day labor agency, a panhandling corner, a pawn shop, and a HUD housing office.
Through these personal stories, we witness the obstacles that homeless people face, and the ingenuity it takes to negotiate life without a home. The Man in the Dog Park points to the ways that our own cultural assumptions and blind spots are complicit in US homelessness and contribute to the degree of suffering that homeless people face. At the same time, Small, Kordosky and Moore show us how our own sense of connection and compassion can bring us into touch with the actions that will lessen homelessness and bring greater humanity to the experience of those who remain homeless.
The raw emotion of The Man in the Dog Park will forever change your appreciation for, and understanding of, a life so many deal with outside of the limelight of contemporary society.
"The Man in the Dog Park offers an accessible approach to destigmatize homelessness. Small's reflections are refreshing, humanizing and intimately understood. She seems to get it."—Pearl Wolfe, Homeless Advocate and Former Human Services Supervisor for Lane County, Oregon
"The authors offer a human perspective on the experience of homelessness, grounded in an exhaustive series of interviews and relevant literature. The Man in the Dog Park will serve scholars and practitioners of urban studies for years to come."—Ella Howard, author of Homeless