Saturday, June 9, 2018

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City

Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City 
by Matthew Desmond

Time to leave the novels and enter a sociological review on the nature of poverty and the fight to keep a home in urban Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  The book Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City by Matthew Desmond is a post-doctoral study conducted on eight families, illustrating their struggles to find affordable housing, keep affordable housing, and battle in the court system (when they don’t pay their rent).  This book really resonated with me as my father, when he was alive, used to bring me to a few of his court eviction processes for those renters who failed to pay rent numerous times.  Desmond moved into the College Mobile Home Park where he was introduced to a number of the families he followed.  He also spent time following two of the landlords, the people who ran the trailer park, and also a black couple who become wealthy renting to people who they had confidence would pay rent.  Poverty, drugs, family complications, weapons, job loss, and the governmental system of how to support people without means are all topics explored in this ‘documentary’ of sorts.  Desmond ends his book with a series of recommendations to help fix the broken system.  A thoughtful look into a serious issue facing every urban center across America.  The characters in the book are real and the struggles they face are real.  An important issue in our society today.

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