Attitudes, myths, and perceptions about poverty provide the backdrop for advocacy towards a bill of rights for people experiencing homelessness and call for the right to counsel for people facing eviction. Justice and equity considerations, systematic and institutional dynamics, and the trauma of homelessness frame this personal journey of loss, enlightenment, and empowerment.
DeBorah Gilbert White is a social psychologist, diversity and inclusion expert, educator, and social justice advocate. She is the founder of HerStory Ensemble LLC, a community-based organization focused on the social and economic empowerment of women who are experiencing homelessness, formerly homeless, and at risk of homelessness. She continues to work for protective and equitable homeless policies and legislation, and for housing as a human right locally and nationally.
Jeff Singer organizes, does policy work, and undertakes outreach for the University of Maryland School of Social Work and CASH: City Advocates in Solidarity with the Homeless. He worked for fifteen years at the Baltimore City Department of Social Services and for twenty-five years at Health Care for the Homeless [HCH] in such fields as child and adult protective services; mental health, addiction, and HIV services; and nonprofit administration. Singer retired in 2011 after HCH had its millionth patient visit with its 100,000th patient. During the 1990s he directed the National Mobilization Project for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, seeking to create the right to housing and health care in the U.S. Singer helped organize the Baltimore Homeless Union, the People’s Homesteading Group, the Homeless Persons Representation Project, Housing Our Neighbors, the People’s Vacant Housing Survey, and the self-managed homeless shelter, Eutaw Center. He has published in street newspapers, academic journals, and books on health care, housing, poverty, addictions, homelessness, and justice. He is now an outreach worker and instructor in social policy and surrealism.