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Political Science Social Policy

Finding Home in the Promised Land

A Personal History of Homelessness and Social Exile

by (author) Jane Harris

Signature Editions
Initial publish date
Aug 2016
Social Policy, Educators, Poverty & Homelessness
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2015
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Aug 2016
    List Price

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In 2013, a violent crime left Jane Harris seriously injured and tumbling down the social ladder toward homelessness -- for the second time in her life -- leading her to question the underlying conditions that could allow this to happen in a country like Canada. Finding Home in the Promised Land is the result of her harrowing journey through the wilderness of social exile. Her Scottish great-great-grandmother Barbara's portrait opens the door into pre-Confederation Canada; Harris's own story lights our journey through 21st-century Canada. Harris asks how Canadians can ignore the obvious -- that trauma and poverty are inextricably linked. Why did Canada, a nation of exiles driven to create their own Promised Land accept first poorhouses, then soup kitchens, food banks, shelters, and a silent suffering class of working poor?

With insight and an understanding born of first-hand experience, Harris uncovers the sad truth that taxes and charitable gifts the prosperous among us pay to avoid looking at the poor fund a poverty industry that keeps the dispossessed in a thorny exile. But she also uncovers a path out of the bureaucratic wilderness.

About the author

Jane Harris is a writer from Lethbridge, Alberta, who turns complex research into engaging scenes and easily understood messages. Finding Home in the Promised Land is her second book to be published by J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing, with the eBook by Signature Editions. Jane's first book, Eugenics and the Firewall: Canada’s Nasty Little Secret was published in 2010. Jane has also contributed to two Canadian anthologies and her articles about business, personal finance, history, faith, politics and social issues have appeared in more than a dozen publications including Write, Alberta Views, Winnipeg Free Press, Canadian Capital, Alberta Venture, Lethbridge Herald, and The Anglican Planet. She won a 2016 Alberta Literary Award (James H. Gray Award for Short Non-Fiction), and was a finalist in the 2016 Alberta Magazine Publishers’ Association Showcase Awards for her essay, “The Unheard Patient.”

Jane Harris' profile page


  • Winner, James H. Gray Award for Short Non-Fiction

Editorial Reviews

Harris delivers the information in a way that's both intriguing and easy to understand. Connecting the systemic bureaucratic problems of homelessness in Canada to her own real life experiences makes Harris an effective and convincing storyteller. By the end of the book, readers might find themselves questioning whether they're part of the problem too.

Other titles by Jane Harris