What the Pandemic Taught Us About the Homeless — and What We Shouldn’t Forget

The streets of our cities have been too empty and too full.

Emptied of cars and pedestrians, the streets of the pandemic became eerie still frames of an economy on pause. And yet, as we venture back to our sidewalks and storefronts, we are reminded that our streets also are a home, an imperfect and unsustainable haven for the transient masses we call “the homeless.” Never has it been starker than in the vacuum of social distancing that they are there, the only people who remained when all others retreated to the safety of their homes.

Thus begins my latest op-ed, co-authored with Thomas Hugh Byrne from Boston University and Benjamin F. Henwood from the University of Southern California, originally published in The Hill.

To read the full op-ed, click here.

Quote of the Day: Robert Christgau

So who is the Lady Gaga you needn’t be a monster to enjoy? Impulsive and willing to make mistakes, she uses her big ego and bigger emotions for good — to work herself hard and make waves. She campaigned outspokenly against don’t-ask-don’t-tell and shovels money to homeless LGBT youth. She never appears in public out of character and she never acts the diva offstage. She spends more on her shows and videos than a shrewd capitalist would. She’s funnier than her putative peers, with an absurdist streak that reflects her downtown history. And none of this would mean a thing if she hadn’t learned how to deploy her hook sense and vocal muscle in mammoth anthems that began with one called “Just Dance” and never stopped coming.

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— Robert Christgau (The Barnes & Noble Review)