October 13, 2003 by

Alice Baum

1 comment

Categories: Scientists, Writers/Editors

Alice Baum, an author and social activist, died Sept. 23. Cause of death was not released. She was 66.
Baum graduated from Wellesley College and met Donald Burnes when she took a job at the National Institute of Education. They joined forces, politically and romantically, and spent three years aiding homeless people in Washington D.C.
In 1993, Baum and Burnes wrote the book, “Nation in Denial: The Truth About Homelessness.” They concluded that at least 65 percent of homeless people suffered from mental illness or drug or alcohol addiction and were incapable of holding steady work. They also suggested an “aggressive outreach” approach to convert public shelters into places where the homeless could find long-term medical care and housing programs.

One Response to Alice Baum

  1. Norma Fenves

    I don’t know who posted this blog–I just discovered it because I hadn’t heard from Alice for a long time. I am shocked and saddened that she died last Sept. and I did not know. She and her 1st husband, David, a law professor at the University of Illinois (who died in the late 60’s or early 70’s) were dear friends of mine while we lived in Champaign-Urbana. She visisted us several times with Donald after we moved to Pittsburgh and before she moved to Dana Point, when we maintained contact by email and phone occasionally. She was a civil rights activist in the 60’s while at Illinois and was also involved in other important public policy issues as education and low-income housing. The book on the homeless she authored with Donald was considered a landmark study and had an important impact on public policy. Last time I spoke with her on the phone she told me about the historic home she lived in and her support of the arts and artists in her area–whatever interest she became involved in she was dedicated, effective, and dynamic. My deep condolences to Gregory, Karen and Donald.

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