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A private dinner Nov. 13 at Trapnall Hall in Little Rock was a fitting ending for Matthew Desmond's day.

Earlier, Desmond, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The New York Times best-seller Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City, addressed a packed house at the University Theater as the featured speaker for the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Princeton sociologist used a slide show to discuss his book, which explores the impact of eviction on the lives of the urban poor and in particular highlights the grim cycle of housing insecurity borne by eight renters in Milwaukee's poorest neighborhoods.

Desmond spoke at length of Arleen, a single mother of two whose multiple evictions and loss of possessions were the results of various unfortunate events, not just from nonpayment of rent, but the actions of her children and housing that wasn't up to code.

Desmond also discussed the problems set forth in the book: the rising number of evictions; how rent consumes nearly all the income of low-income renters; how those evicted from substandard housing usually are forced to turn to even worse housing in worse neighborhoods; how prior evictions, and simply having children, make it that much tougher to find housing at all; how obtaining housing assistance is often a yearslong wait; and how he believes lack of housing is a cause, not just a symptom, of poverty.

After the lecture, Desmond answered questions, then signed books at a short reception at the university's Old Fine Arts Building before sitting down to dinner with Chancellor Andrew Roberson and his wife, Janessa, and a small group of guests that included the Winthrop Rockefeller Lecture board members and members of the university's board of visitors.

Gallery: Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lecture Series dinner

High Profile on 12/02/2018

Print Headline: Pulitzer Prize winner discusses Evicted

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