Problems in the Assessment of Mental Illness among the Homeless

An Empirical Approach
  • Paul Koegel
  • M. Audrey Burnam
Part of the Topics in Social Psychiatry book series (TSPS)


Throughout most of the twentieth century, one image was sufficient to depict with reasonable accuracy the population of individuals with no fixed, stable abode at any given point in time. First there was the hobo, an itinerant worker who rode the rails while following the dictates of a lifestyle coherent and established enough to earn its own name—hobohemia—and to have its own newspaper—the Hobo News.1–3 Next came the victims of the Great Depression—residents of squatter towns dubbed Hoovervilles, and migrants, both single men and families, who traveled in the hope that elsewhere they might find the means to earn a living.4 Following the era of prosperity ushered in by World War II came the skid row alcoholic, an older white male whose ties to family and to the institutions of mainstream society had been overwhelmingly strained, if not completely severed.5–8


Mental Illness Major Depressive Episode Antisocial Personality Disorder Homeless People Homeless Person 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul Koegel
    • 1
  • M. Audrey Burnam
    • 1
  1. 1.Social Policy DepartmentThe RAND CorporationSanta MonicaUSA

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