'Tom Hall combines street-level research with academic study to reveal the true scale and nature of the problem of hidden homelessness in contemporary Britain.' Nick Davies, author of Dark Heart: The Shocking Truth about Hidden Britain
'Tom Hall writes with deep insight and a spare elegance. In the best realist tradition, he shows us the lives of homeless young people in an entirely fresh way. The reader, having been drawn into the creativity and despair of those lives, is left wondering if their problems are just those of a transitional phase, 'youth', or rather mark them for futures of permanent social exclusion.' Keith Hart, University of Aberdeen
If the supposedly disaffected young provide the sub-text to so many of our social anxieties, then the young homeless loom larger here than most: our most vivid reminder of social exclusion, and exemplars too of what the tabloid press like to describe as the feckless, wilful poor.
This book explores what life is really like for Britain's young homeless: estranged from their families, out of work and making do on the fringes of social security. The result is a vivid portrait of a pressing social problem. Based on extended fieldwork study - the author spent twelve months in the company of young people moving between hostel accommodation, rented bed-sit tenancies and episodes of rooflessness - Better Times Than This is Britain's first full ethnographic study of youth homelessness.