Chapter

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

Robert P. Fairbanks

in How It Works

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print September 2009 | ISBN: 9780226234083
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226234113 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226234113.003.0005
The Persistent Failures of the Recovery House System: Low-Wage Labor, Relapse, and “the Wreckage of the Past”

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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

Chapter.  18218 words. 

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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