Anthropologists have been able to offer the "thick" description of homeless communities that are so often missing from more statistical approaches, and have helped us comprehend the pathways into and out of homelessness. Anthropology's holistic approach of integrating the large, macro-level societal movements, as well as the family and personal level dynamics, offers a complex understanding. Some of the most compelling work in the field utilizes an understanding of the culture that is created by the homeless themselves in order to create employment, housing, health and social service programs, and policies that are culturally compatible with the world views of homeless people.

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