Crossing the Border · Reviews
Forced on the streets by egregious public policies that have created a process one writer dubbed “musical chairs,” the homeless must fend for themselves without the rudimentary comforts and services of a place to call “home.” . . . Given the pain of homelessness, what must we, the housed, do to help? It is this question that sets the stage for Rowe’s reflective book . . . Out of this effort comes something that is ineluctably persuasive. We are led—rather than driven—to the margins of society and asked to consider what matters . . . Rowe has provided the reader with the rationale for engaging in the next conversation . . . as we move past the tokenism of the current system of shelters into a solution set of rehousing and reconnection.
— Mindy Thompson Fullilove, author of Root Shock and Urban Alchemy
In this admirable book, Michael Rowe succeeds in capturing the complexities of outreach work and in skillfully describing outreach from the perspective of both the worker and the homeless . . . This book makes a significant contribution, going much further than the existing literature in revealing the inner world of the worker and the client. Few other writers have been able to get into the heads of their subjects, and to write with sympathetic detail about subjective feelings, experiences, and motives . . .
— Social Development Issues
I fear that many health care professionals will glance at this book and decide it’s interesting but not directly applicable to their field. They will be wrong. This thoughtful examination of outreach to the homeless brings to light many of the assumptions about class, compassion, and otherness that underlie medicine as well as social work. Because it explores the interactions between “others,” as well as the relationship between concepts of illness and poverty, this book deserves the attention of health care workers and social service providers alike.
— Angela Lea, Medical Humanities Review
Rowe . . . is asking if we, as a society, can stretch the border so that those now at the edges can be included as first-class citizens without having to cross over entirely. Although this may be a near impossibility in the current social and political climate, it is one of many important questions raised by this thought-provoking work and worthy of consideration by those of us serving disenfranchised groups, homeless or not.
— Susan F. Grossman, Social Service Review
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