How lack of housing and poverty intertwine

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By Tom Holmes

Contributing Reporter / Religion Blogger

Quotes from the prologue to Evicted by Matthew Desmond.

3 Even in the most desolate areas of American cities, evictions used to be rare.

4 The marshals [doing the evicting years ago] were ambivalent about carrying out evictions.  It                wasn't why the carried a gun.

4 These days, there are sheriff squads whose full-time job is to carry out eviction and foreclosure      orders.  There are moving companies specializing in evictions, their crews working all       day, every weekday.

4 Low income families have grown used to the rumble of moving trucks, the early-morning          knocks at the door, the belongings lining the curb.

4 Families have watched their incomes stagnate, or even fall, wile their housing costs have    soared.  Today, the majority of poor renting families in America spend over half of their     income on housing, and at least one in four dedicates over 70 percent to paying the rent            and keeping the lights on.  Millions of Americans are evicted every year, because they        can't make rent.

4 In Milwaukee, a city of fewer than 105,000 renter households, landlords evict roughly 16,000                       adults and children each year.  That's sixteen families evicted through the court                   system daily.

5 Between 2009 and 2011 more than 1 in 8 Milwaukee renters experience a forced move.

5 Eviction's fall out is severe.  Losing a home sends families to shelters, abandoned houses, and     the street.  It invites depression and illness, compels families to move into degrading            housing in dangerous neighborhoods, uproots communities, and harms children.

5 This is among the most urgent and pressing issues facing America today. . .

5 For decades, we've focused mainly on jobs, public assistance, parenting, and mass             incarceration.  No one can deny the importance of these issues, but something             fundamental is missing.  We have failed to fully appreciate how deeply housing is       implicated in the creation of poverty.

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