Disrupting Homelessness: Alternative Christian Approaches

by Laura Stivers. Fortress Press, 2011.

This book takes a deep look at the structural causes of homelessness, as well as the variety of explanations and responses to this aspect of poverty in the United States. The first chapters examine the history of homelessness and dominant ideologies about homelessness providing significant background to this problem. Stivers goes on to provide a critical examination of two common models of Christian response, which she calls the “Rescue and Recovery” and “Low-Income Homeownership” models. Finally, she offers an alternative paradigm for a more compassionate society, in which we refuse to blame the poor or enable responses that excuse injustice. She frames this as prophetic shift that requires a social justice movement to promote the flourishing of all. Each chapter includes discussion questions that make this book suitable for congregations that seek to dive deeply into ethical questions about service and justice as they relate to homelessness.