Desmond hopes his book will help leaders like Obama and Gates better understand the interconnection between homelessness and poverty. "I used to think eviction and homelessness were the result of poverty," says the author. "But I came to recognize that eviction is a cause, not just a condition, of poverty in America."
Indeed, Desmond appears to be achieving his goal, with some of the world's most powerful men gaining important understanding from his work.
"When you're paying so much to keep a roof over your head, there's no room for bad luck. A single bad incident can send you reeling," writes Gates. "When someone has to search for a new place to live, they miss work, which cuts back on their pay and makes them more likely to get fired."
"Although the specifics of their lives are unlike anything I have experienced, Desmond makes it easy to empathize," he says. "This book gave me a better sense of what it is like to be very poor in this country than anything else I have read."
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