The author at Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon (Nigel Dickson photo).

Paperback, 408 pp., 6 X 9

ISBN-13: 978-1-77244-078-2

$39.95 in Canada


$29.95 in USA


Changing Narratives of Inevitability

Eric Weissman, Ph.D.

In this exciting, thought-provoking new book, author Eric Weissman draws on personal experience, firsthand empirical research, and social theory to probe the causes and consequences of homelessness.

Hundreds of thousands of North Americans are homeless according to government statistics; hundreds of thousands, even millions more are only precariously housed, one paycheck away from life on the streets. Homelessness is one of the most significant social problems facing society today. Yet there remains enormous misunderstanding about the real causes of this social scourge.

Weissman examines emerging solutions to homelessness such as Oregon’s Dignity Village, an effort to create a self-governing community for the previously homeless, and assesses their strengths and weaknesses. He draws on his own experiences with addiction and homelessness in analyzing the social factors and personal traumas that drive people to the streets. And he considers the future of homelessness in a globalized world in which work and life are ever more precarious.


Eric Weissman earned his Ph.D. from Concordia University in 2014. His dissertation won the CAGS/ProQuest Distinguished Dissertation Award that same year, and research for that dissertation, since extended and expanded, formed the basis for the present book. Weissman has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for Medical Humanities at the University of Texas in Galveston and has taught at Concordia, the College of New Caledonia, and elsewhere. He is also an acclaimed filmmaker and artist, and the author of Dignity in Exile: Stories of Struggle and Hope from a Modern American Shanty Town (2012). He lives in Toronto.