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Photo by Michael Kienitz

It’s no secret that one of the most pressing issues facing our country today is housing. In fact, most families in poverty are spending over half of their monthly income on rent, leaving very little for other basic needs and certainly no chance to get ahead.  Matthew Desmond’s Evicted is an unflinching and deeply human exploration of the lives of those in severe poverty and the many contributing factors he observed during years of intense fieldwork. Evicted was the focus of our CCFW Bookclub a few months ago and we were thrilled by its Pulitzer Prize win this week. Here’s a few thoughts from our staff about the book in light of our work ending poverty:


Evicted was a painful read. Three chapters in – when I read about the father taking his two children to abandoned houses at night and ripping up the carpet so they would have something to sleep under – I wasn’t sure I could keep reading. My heart hurt for this family, but that’s exactly why I knew I had to finish the book…because there are so many more families out there who are homeless, or sheltered but living in places we would never imagine our own family having to live in. Evicted is an important window into the true cost of housing and terribly limited housing options for low-income families. My encounter with this book has further evolved my thinking on how we address poverty at CCFW.” – Heather Reynolds, CCFW President and CEO

“Matthew Desmond’s Evicted takes the reader into the topic of eviction, which many of us don’t have to think about, and places faces and stories into reality. It’s no longer a legal or housing issue for the individual, but something larger within our society that many of us should care about.” – Merrissa Kuylen, Research Data Specialist

“As someone who spends their day combing through research and trying to translate it into everyday conversation, seeing Desmond do this seamlessly was encouraging and motivating. He carefully weaves statistics and facts through a story line that perfectly combines important research with the stories of real people. Really getting to know the people behind the numbers makes the reality impossible to ignore.” – Shannon Rosedale, Public Affairs and Relations Manager