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How It WorksRecovering Citizens in Post-Welfare Philadelphia$
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Robert P. Fairbanks

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226234083

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226234113.001.0001

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The Persistent Failures of the Recovery House System: Low-Wage Labor, Relapse, and “the Wreckage of the Past”

The Persistent Failures of the Recovery House System: Low-Wage Labor, Relapse, and “the Wreckage of the Past”

Chapter:
(p.147) 4 The Persistent Failures of the Recovery House System: Low-Wage Labor, Relapse, and “the Wreckage of the Past”
Source:
How It Works
Author(s):

Robert P. Fairbanks

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226234113.003.0005

The vagaries of spatially concentrated poverty and the predatory nature of informal rental markets in the Kensington neighborhood recovery house acted like gravity in the recovery house industry, grinding down utopian visions of a life in recovery. This chapter illustrates how the transformative promises of recovery are undermined and reshaped by the vicissitudes of spatially concentrated poverty. By exploring the persistent failures of the recovery house, it reveals how the depredations of subsistence and the impoverishment of recovering technologies force operators to transmute risk, vulnerability, and further suffering onto recovering subjects. Through the lived experiences of the men and women inhabiting recovery houses, the chapter analyzes how the actual recovery house regimen is characterized by relentless backsliding. It delves into relapse, recidivism, health failures, and the constant return to hustling activities and contingent day labor jobs.

Keywords:   poverty, recovery houses, Kensington, relapse, recidivism, health failures

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