Kevin F. Adler and Donald W. BurnesOct 1, 2023
When We Walk By
Forgotten Humanity, Broken Systems, and the Role We Can Each Play in Ending Homelessness in America
North Atlantic Books 2023
Think about the last time that you saw or interacted with an unhoused person. What did you do? What did you say? Did you offer money or a smile, or did you avert your gaze?
When We Walk By: Forgotten Humanity, Broken Systems, and the Role We Can Each Play in Ending Homelessness in America (North Atlantic Books, 2023) takes an urgent look at homelessness in America, showing us what we lose—in ourselves and as a society—when we choose to walk past and ignore our neighbors in shelters, insecure housing, or on the streets. And it brilliantly shows what we stand to gain when we embrace our humanity and move toward evidence-based people-first, community-driven solutions, offering social analysis, economic and political histories, and the real stories of unhoused people. Authors Kevin F. Adler and Donald W. Burnes, with Amanda Banh and Andrijana Bilbija, recast chronic homelessness in the U.S. as a byproduct of twin crises: our social services systems are failing, and so is our humanity. A necessary, deeply humanizing read that goes beyond theory and policy analysis to offer engaged solutions with compassion and heart, When We Walk By is a must-read for anyone who cares about homelessness, housing solutions, and their own humanity.
Stephen Pimpare is a Senior Fellow at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire.