Jeffrey Grunberg

Why the Homeless Have No Chance: An Inside Story

Why the Homeless Have No Chance: An Inside Story
Comprising a number of short essays, Why the Homeless Have No Chance: An Inside Story documents a sociological journey through the homeless services industry and describes today's wrong-headed approach to this lingering social problem.
Told from the vantage point of thirty years of personal experience helping homeless people in a number of settings, these adventures largely took place in midtown Manhattan in the early 90's. Over a seventeen-year period, our singularly successful approach was dismantled “slow-mo” by way of political advocacy and media complicity. We had decried the housing approach, frustrated that it was going nowhere, instead calling for employment programming. However, what is referred to as “The Board,” the putative head of the homeless industry, would have none of it. We were accused of heinous crimes, all made up. For it all, even after those charges were proven to be “fanciful,” the damage had been done — we were taken down and our funding went right into the coffers of The Board, while the homeless, unemployed again, were back on the street.
Never told were the reasons for what one investigator called our "unparalleled success.” Why were we able to bring thousands of homeless men and women indoors? Why were we able to help so many into employment? What can be done to stem today's tide of homelessness?
Our programs drew the attention of a number of important New Yorkers, pro and con among them, but in the end, they came to a halt. While this is a story that was partially documented in the media, staccato style, still it has remained a story never fully told.
436 printed pages
Original publication



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