SALINA, Kan. - For days at a time during a four-year period, the two men slept under bridges and in makeshift camps set up by homeless individuals they befriended. They also spent a night in a shelter and visited other shelters for their research.
Jeffrey Michael Clair, Ph.D., and Jason Wasserman, Ph.D., set out to find the answer to one simple question: Why do many homeless individuals prefer living on the street to living in shelters?
So the two ventured into the streets of Birmingham, Alabama to interview homeless people, learning in the process that many programs and policies designed to help the homeless succeed only in alienating them.
Clair and Wasserman say armchair proclamations by experts and politicians about dealing with homelessness are routinely dismissed by those on the street with this response: "They don't know us."