Harvard sociologist Matthew Desmond spent time in Milwaukee’s poorest neighborhoods to look at how eight families struggle living in poverty and the way poverty is viewed in America. Arleen is a single mother trying to raise her two sons on the $20 a month she has left after paying for her rundown apartment; Scott is a nurse-turned-heroin addict; Lamar, a man with no legs, tries to work his way out of debt; Vanetta participates in a botched stickup after her hours are cut. All of the Milwaukee residents featured by Desmond are spending almost all of the little money they do have on rent and have fallen behind.
Their fate is in the hands of two landlords: Sherrena Tarver, a former school teacher-turned-inner-city entrepreneur, and Tobin Charney, who runs a trailer park. The book reveals that many times eviction is not so much a consequence of poverty as a cause. Based on years of embedded fieldwork and gathered data, Desmond’s “Evicted” shows scenes of hope and loss and reminds the reader that without a home, not a lot else is possible.
“Evicted” is available for $22.40 at www.800ceoread.com.