Gordian Knot Books
2007 • 328 pp.
6 x 9"
Through extensive interviews with twenty-four young women of color living in temporary shelters in New York City who were either pregnant or had very young children, Dr. Jill Gerson
analyzes the shelter users' backgrounds, current living experiences, and views of home, family, and parenting.
Employing a life-history approach, she
focuses on the ways the mothers' lives were shaped by both socioeconomic context and interpersonal experiences.
finds that most of the mothers had experienced various disruptive experiences in childhood and adolescence and that their shelter use was closely related to the adverse economic realities faced by many poor women of color.
interviews give the reader a personal feel for the struggles that women face as they try to free themselves and their families from the limitations of poverty and scarce resources. . . . these findings make an outstanding introduction to the complexities of homelessness in general and the struggles for women in particular. . . . a unique and original contribution to our understanding of homelessness. . . . Gerson
offers a skillful reframing of how we understand the shelter experience itself.
-Maxine Harris, Ph.D, Psychiatric Services, American Psychiatric Association
tells the very moving true stories of 24 mothers among the increasing number of single parents in New York City's homeless shelters.
JILL GERSON received a DSW from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and a MSW from Hunter College School of Social Work.
A longtime resident of New York City, Dr. Gerson
has focused her
social work practice on program development for under-served youth and families with young children.
She is currently on the faculty of Lehman College in the Bronx, NY, Department of Sociology and Social Work.
While teaching at Lehman, she developed an introductory course for human service workers aimed at enhancing their skills in working with families facing the complex challenges of poverty and social injustice.