Catching Homelessness: A Nurse's Story Of Falling Through The Safety Net by Josephine EnsignCatching Homelessness: A Nurse's Story Of Falling Through The Safety Net by Josephine Ensign

Catching Homelessness: A Nurse's Story Of Falling Through The Safety Net

byJosephine Ensign

Paperback | August 9, 2016

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At the beginning of the homelessness epidemic in the 1980s, Josephine Ensign was a young, white, Southern, Christian wife, mother, and nurse running a new medical clinic for the homeless in the heart of the South. Through her work and intense relationships with patients and co-workers, her worldview was shattered, and after losing her job, family, and house, she became homeless herself. She reconstructed her life with altered views on homelessness-and on the health care system. InCatching Homelessness, Ensign reflects on how this work has changed her and how her work has changed through the experience of being homeless-providing a piercing look at the homelessness industry, nursing, and our country's health care safety net.
Josephine Ensign is an associate professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, where she teaches community health, health policy, and narrative medicine. A graduate of Oberlin College, the Medical College of Virginia, and Johns Hopkins University, she has been a nurse for over thirty years, providing health care for homeless and ...
Title:Catching Homelessness: A Nurse's Story Of Falling Through The Safety NetFormat:PaperbackDimensions:240 pages, 8.5 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:August 9, 2016Publisher:She Writes PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1631521179

ISBN - 13:9781631521171

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Editorial Reviews

2017 American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year"Catching Homelessness is a carefully researched documentary of poverty and health care woven together with an intensely personal and suspenseful memoir of a professional journey. Ensign is a compelling storyteller because she sees people so clearly; her characters include those who are homeless and sick, those who run health-care services, and not least herself. I wish every health-care professional would read this book at the start of their training, again at the start of clinical practice, and a third time after a decade of work. Few books do so much to humanize health care and to exemplify reflective clinical practice."—Arthur W. Frank, PhD, author of At the Will of the Body and The Wounded Storyteller"A provocative book. Viewed through the lens of her own experience of homelessness, Josephine Ensign challenges us to view the homeless as real, complex people rather than social issues, or, worse, problems. Her committed vision as a clinician and author makes this a powerful narrative of one of the pressing social issues of our time."—Theresa Brown, New York Times Bestselling author of The Shift: One Nurse, Twelve Hours, Four Patients' Lives"The ability to share and understand another's experience and feelings in a profound way is the basis of empathy. In reading Catching Homelessness the act of empathy was evident on every page. Dr. Ensign crafts a narrative that expresses her own empathy for those she cares for and invokes the same level of understanding and awareness for her own struggles with uncertainly. One cannot read this lovely book without feeling deeply the sorrow and desperation that accompanies life on the edge."—Bobbie Berkowitz, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN, Dean and Professor, Columbia University School of Nursing"Catching Homelessness is a powerful and personal story of providing nursing care for the homeless in Richmond, Virginia, and of the author's own experience of homelessness. When her life and values no longer fit the expectations for a good white, southern, Christian wife and mother, Ensign loses her home in every respect. In this era of foreclosures and income inequality, Catching Homelessness is a risk we share. Ensign never preaches but draws the reader into the world of people pushed to the margins, and to those few, like Ensign herself, who feel drawn to our common humanity."—Marsha Hurst, PhD, Lecturer, MS in Narrative Medicine, Columbia University, New York"Catching Homelessness is a book I feel comfortable recommending to anyone who likes a 'good read.' It moves quickly... paints vivid pictures of individuals...and describes a critical but often-ignored piece of our health care system. Perhaps most important, it takes us into a world most Americans don't inhabit: the world of people who are homeless."—Nancy Amidei, MSW, Senior Lecturer, Emeritus, University of Washington School of Social Work and author of So You Want to Make a Difference: Advocacy is the Key"When I reflect on the richness of Josephine Ensign's writing, several words come to mind: honest, elegant, harrowing, heartfelt, assertive, gentle, courageous, humble, unpretentious, compelling, compassionate, indicting. Every single essay in Catching Homelessness-a work that brilliantly weaves together the author's vivid recollections of her Southern upbringing, her life as a "good" Christian wife and mother, and her years of experience as a nurse practitioner in impoverished communities-is a profoundly affecting, stand-alone treasure. Catching Homelessness is a much-needed gift to the planet-and a book that I want to place in the hands of everyone I know." —Stephanie Kallos, best-selling novelist of Broken for You, Sing Them Home, and Language Arts"In Catching Homelessness, Dr. Josephine Ensign jolted me out of my comfort zone-again! 'Nurse Jo' interweaves narratives of human experiences, homeless patients from a street clinic in which she practices, and her own personal experience as a nurse practitioner. Catching Homelessness elicited both my visceral and my political responses. If you've become so accustomed to seeing homeless people in your community that you no longer respond to them, this book is a wonderful antidote for apathy!"—Nancy Fugate Woods, PhD, RN, FAAN, Professor, Biobehavioral Nursing, and Dean Emeritus, University of Washington School of Nursing"Catching Homelessness rings true: true about people who live the experience, true about the forces that drive homelessness, and true about those who care and respond. Josephine Ensign's remarkable memoir tracks the first three decades of the modern epidemic of homelessness, introducing memorable characters from real life and drawing out lessons that must be heeded lest the epidemic continue forever." —John Lozier, Executive Director, National Health Care for the Homeless Council"Josephine Ensign's account of helping people who are homeless will resonate with everyone who has done this work. She captures how complicated it is to be homeless and how resilient one must be to return to any semblance of stability. I am proud to be her friend and colleague."—Sheila Crowley, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition