This penetrating study of an intractable social problem generates both sympathy for the homeless and understanding of public anger against them. Nichelason enumerates the causes of homelessness, conditions in shelters, problems of homeless children and their families, public reactions, and a few examples of helpful palliatives. Numerous individual stories humanize and focus the account (but with no indication as to whether these are real people or composites). A game in which readers imagine being homeless dramatizes the overwhelming weight of the problems these people face; but the author also mentions complaints about aggressive panhandling and quotes Heritage Institute scholars who blame homeless addicts for ""jumping off the safety net."" Admirably balanced as well as empathetic. Well-chosen photos, some in color; resource list; glossary; endnotes; bibliography; index.