In the past ten or fifteen years, the subject of homelessness has been the topic of countless studies, newspaper and magazine articles, and personal interviews with both homeless people and the professionals in the various fields that explore the issue. Although I have always found them interesting, informative, and heart-wrenching, it has almost always been from the perspective of the subjects- the homeless people- that they have been presented; I cannot remember ever having been informed about the subject by anyone else, except for brief statements by family members whose loved one 'hit the streets' and has not been heard from since. This had a limited impact on me until, for several reasons, my own son became a member of the homeless population living on the streets of Orlando.
This paper is my attempt to give my perspective, through prose and poetry, as a parent who has had to cope with, and is still coping with, my son's homelessness due to circumstances both beyond and within his control. It delves into the biological and psychological aspects of his mental illness as well as the environmental factors of his upbringing that most certainly have had an impact on his life, recounts the early attempts of our family to name the problem and find a solution to it, and details some of the present day agony and trauma that comes with having a loved one walking the streets day and night.
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Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Creative Writing
Arts and Humanities -- Dissertations, Academic; Dissertations, Academic -- Arts and Humanities; Brooks, Marcia -- Family; Homeless persons; Mentally ill -- Family relationships; Mothers and sons
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Brooks, Marcia, "Small Gestures" (2006). HIM 1990-2015. 580.