Living Without Doorknobs: Documenting the Homeless

Friday, September 16, 2011

A homeless woman in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn builds a makeshift shelter from the snow. (Janaya Williams)

All this week, we've talked about the startling implications behind new Census data showing that the poverty rate in America is now at its highest level since 1983. One in six Americans now live below the poverty line. Yesterday, a listener named Megan Flood tweeted at us to tell us about her senior thesis project on poverty and homelessness she completed while at the University of Michigan. Flood spent six months conducting weekly interviews with Jospeh Gill, a newly homeless man living in a tent city in Ann Arbor.

Gill owned his own marketing business before losing it during the recession, and talking with him gave her a new understanding of what it means to be homeless. She started Living Without Doorknobs, a documentation of Gill's experience aimed at creating greater awareness of homelessness in America.


Megan Flood

Comments [1]

Julian from Teaneck, NJ

If you speak about poverty, please speak about intelectual underclass of adjunct professors.
It is very disturbing to have universities using increasingly part-time adjunct faculty workforce. Several years ago it was said that the adjuncts cover more than 50 % of teaching assignments in US universities. Now, because of uncertain economic climate, I am sure that universities have more 50% of assignments given to adjuncts than full-time professors. It is a two-tier system with a middle class of full time professors and underclass of adjunct professors. Adjunct professors are a disposable and cheap workforce. Adjunct professors should have at least MA (many have PhD) and are paid by credit/semester and with no benefits. Adjunct professors have no job security and are forced to accept, by the capitalist logic of US academic market, to work for $20.000-$25.000/year. They are supposed to take courses at several universities to make a poor living (most universities do not accept to have more than two courses per semester). Poor paying, no job benefits and long stressing commuting for highly educated people should be very disturbing for a society. It could be a good idea to dedicate a discussion to adjunct faculties on “The Takeway”. Let’s talk about educated people living in poverty. I am pretty sure that the students and their parents do not know that most of their professors are poorly paid, stressed and very frustrated professors.

Sep. 16 2011 10:00 AM

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