First published in 1980, The Survivors is a detailed and original study of the experiences of homeless young people in central London. The book is based on in-depth interviews with 107 ‘newcomers’, who were selected at two nightshelters and a government reception centre. Their views and experiences are recorded, their backgrounds described and their reasons for coming to London examined. We learn how they coped with the interventions of both those who want to hinder and those who want to help, and how in general they survived – and sometimes even enjoyed themselves – in an extreme environment. The authors also examine the ways in which the various helping agencies view the ‘problem’. They claim that the agencies tend to present a pessimistic picture – one that understates the resilience and resourcefulness of these young people, dismisses their spirit of their adventure, and concentrates almost exclusively on the dangers, difficulties and hardships. This book will be of interest to students of sociology, urban studies, public policy and economics.
Authors’ Note Preface 1. Homeless Young People 2. The Homeless Scene 3. The Research Arena 4. Differing Perspectives 5. Backgrounds and Origins 6. Migration 7. Time in London 8. Follow Up 9. Conclusion Notes Index