Steadying the Ladder: Social and Emotional Aspirations of Homeless and Vulnerable People
Gerard Lemos, Lemos and Crane
STAR RATING: 4/5
Lemos emphasises the roles of the connections and continuities provided by friends, families and neighbours, writes Helen Howard.
He suggests that these forms of mutual aid are often inadvertently damaged by public policy on housing, child protection or the care of older people. His thesis is that the main focus of work with vulnerable people, whose lives and relationships have become disrupted, should be to reconnect them with informal networks.
The subtitle led me to think that individual cases and quotes from homeless people would be included and some project examples are used to support lines of argument, but the book is largely theoretical.
But it presents a well-rounded picture of vulnerable people as multi-faceted individuals with complex identities and social and emotional aspirations as well as practical ones.
It provides an invaluable source of understanding to inform the work of anyone supporting homeless people in their struggle to live independent, fulfilling lives.
Helen Howard is a freelance writer, an Open University associate lecturer, and a director of East Kent Cyrenians, an organisation that provides housing and support to homeless people