Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Pg. 99: Russell Schutt's "Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness"

Today's feature at the Page 99 Test: Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness by Russell K. Schutt with Stephen M. Goldfinger.

About the book, from the publisher:
Humans are social animals and, in general, don’t thrive in isolated environments. Homeless people, many of whom suffer from serious mental illnesses, often live socially isolated on the streets or in shelters. Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness describes a carefully designed large-scale study to assess how well these people do when attempts are made to reduce their social isolation and integrate them into the community.

Should homeless mentally ill people be provided with the type of housing they want or with what clinicians think they need? Is residential staff necessary? Are roommates advantageous? How is community integration affected by substance abuse, psychiatric diagnoses, and cognitive functioning? Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness answers these questions and reexamines the assumptions behind housing policies that support the preference of most homeless mentally ill people to live alone in independent apartments. The analysis shows that living alone reduces housing retention as well as cognitive functioning, while group homes improve these critical outcomes. Throughout the book, Russell Schutt explores the meaning and value of community for our most fragile citizens.
Learn more about the book at the Harvard University Press website.

Russell K. Schutt is Professor and Chair of Sociology at the University of Massachusetts and Lecturer on Sociology in the Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School. His books include: Investigating the Social World: The Process and Practice of Research; Organization in a Changing Environment; and Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice.

The Page 99 Test: Homelessness, Housing, and Mental Illness.

--Marshal Zeringue