Homelessness: The Big Picture

May 3, Sunday, 4 p.m.

UPDATE 3/31/20: This event has been cancelled. We hope to reschedule. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Professor Thomas Byrne of the Boston University School of Social Work speaks about the large-scale forces contributing to homelessness in the United States, including wealth inequality, housing shortages, housing unaffordability, and historical and sociological factors. Byrne will summarize the academic research about issues contributing to the national homeless problem and explore what homelessness looks like on a national scale.

Byrne is an assistant professor of Social Welfare Policy at the Boston University School of Social Work. His research focuses broadly on the causes, consequences, and policy solutions to homelessness and housing instability. He is also an investigator with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs National Center on Homelessness among Veterans, where he has conducted research and evaluation in support of the VA’s efforts to prevent and end homelessness among veterans for more than a decade. He is active in a number of initiatives to prevent and end homelessness in Massachusetts. He serves on the board of directors at Hearth, Inc., a Boston-based organization dedicated to eliminating homelessness among older adults, and is on the City of Boston’s Mayor’s Advisory Committee to End Homelessness.

This talk is presented in conjunction with two exhibits related to homelessness, Steven Kinder: 522,830 and Coffee & Conversation: Stories of Homelessness, both on view through June 14. 

Taking its name from the number of people who were unsheltered in America in 2018, 522,830 features portraits of people experiencing homelessness whom Kinder has met over the years in New York City. 

Brattleboro artist Liz Lavorgna began working on Coffee & Conversation in 2015, in collaboration with filmmaker Wyatt Andrews and with support from Groundworks Collaborative. For this exhibit, LaVorgna revisits the project. 

ADMISSION: Free.  Attendees will be invited to make a donation to Groundworks Collaborative, which provides ongoing support to families and individuals facing housing and food insecurities in the greater Brattleboro area.