Homelessness in popular culture

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Homelessness is frequently described as an invisible problem,[1] despite its prevalence.[2] Writers and other artists play a role in bringing the issue to public attention. Homelessness is the central theme of many works; in other works homelessness is secondary, added to advance the story or contribute to dramatic effect.

Homelessness is the central subject in most of the works of art listed here.

Depictions of homelessness[edit]

Popular music[edit]


Popular music albums[edit]


Popular films[edit]


TV and radio[edit]


Entertainment and comedy[edit]



A homeless man in Paris.



  • 1933. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell.
  • 1998. The homeless in Paris: a representative sample survey of users of services for the homeless, in Dragana Avramov, ed, Coping with homelessness : issues to be tackled and best practices in Europe, Ashgate Publishing, by Maryse Marpsat and Jean-Marie Firdion.
  • 2005. Without a Net: Middle Class and Homeless (With Kids) in America by Michelle Kennedy.[dead link]
  • 2005. The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls. ISBN 0-7432-4753-1
  • 2005. Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America by Mike Yankoski.

Visual arts[edit]


  1. ^ "The invisible problem".
  2. ^ "HUMAN RIGHTS: More Than 100 Million Homeless Worldwide".
  3. ^ "A Walking Tour of... Kurt Cobain's Aberdeen". The Aberdeen Museum of History. Retrieved 2008-12-08. Whether Cobain ever slept under this bridge as he claimed is not certain, however, he did spend time beneath the south approach, as did many of the neighborhood kids. 
  4. ^ Bienias, Michelle (January 2005). "Kurt Cobain’s ‘Bridge’ in Aberdeen, Washington" (18). VR MAG. Kurt lived under this bridge for a time when he was 15 and frequented it as a ‘hang out’ of sorts as well. His experiences living under this bridge were the basis for the Nirvana song ‘Something's In the Way’. 
  5. ^ Give US Your Poor organisation: The Campaign to End Homelessness - University of Massachusetts, Boston.
  6. ^ Give US Your Poor - multi-artist album at Appleseed Records.
  7. ^ Mills, Fred, "Give Them Your Money: Give US Your Poor Benefit Disc Features Springsteen, Seeger, Raitt, Bon Jovi, Others", HARP magazine, July 22, 2007
  8. ^ Miller, Adam, Music Review: 'Give US Your Poor' : All-star cast of artists contribute to fight against homelessness, The Epoch Times, Kansas Staff, September 24, 2007
  9. ^ Vennila Films Post-Production page on "We are not Faraway