Pulitzer-winning author Matthew Desmond to anchor event series exploring solutions to poverty and homelessness

A book club, a workshop and a talk with Matthew Desmond, author of “Evicted” and “Poverty, by America,” are expected to generate engagement surrounding homelessness and poverty.

TUCSON – American poverty and homelessness – and the solutions for addressing them – will be front and center this fall in a series of events hosted by the Primavera Foundation, Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tucson and the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona.

Events include a December 12 presentation by Matthew Desmond, author of “Evicted” and “Poverty, by America,” at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Tickets are available for purchase now. The event marks the 40th anniversary of the Primavera Foundation, which provides pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development and neighborhood revitalization.

“The Primavera Foundation is honored to bring such an esteemed scholar to Tucson to elevate the discourse around poverty and homelessness,” said Tisha Tallman, chief executive officer of Primavera Foundation. “Now, more than ever, with a 60% increase in overall homelessness, and a 200% increase in chronic homelessness from 2018 to 2023, there is urgency to create sustainable solutions for permanent housing opportunities.”

“Matthew Desmond asks why – in a country as abundant as ours – do we continue to have more poverty than in any other advanced democracy,” Tallman added. “These events will explore what role each of us can play in addressing systemic inequity.”

The series of special events include:

Understanding Poverty Workshop: 9 a.m.-noon, Oct. 25, at the Community Foundation Campus, 5049 E. Broadway Blvd. RSVP to attend.

In partnership with the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families, Pima County Community and Workforce Development, the Primavera Foundation, and Social Venture Partners (SVP) Tucson, the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona hosts an Understanding Poverty Workshop with Bonnie Bazata. Bazata is Pima County’s Ending Poverty Now program manager and leads the Prosperity Initiative, a county-wide effort to develop policy to reduce generational poverty. The workshop will examine economic class, its impact on lives and institutions, systemic inequality, and tools for change.

Solutions-Focused Community Book Club, 5-7 p.m., Nov. 30, at the Community Foundation Campus, 5049 E. Broadway Blvd. RSVP to attend.

As a part of an ongoing Book Club series, the Community Foundation of Southern Arizona will host a discussion on Desmond’s book, “Poverty, by America,” with the goal of generating solutions. A panel discussion will include Bobby Burns, internationally acclaimed author, reporter, motivational speaker, educator and author of “Shelter”; Tisha Tallman, CEO of the Primavera Foundation; and Keith Bentele, associate research professor at the University of Arizona and the head of the Southwest Institute of Research on Women in the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

An Evening with Matthew Desmond, hosted by Primavera Foundation, 6-8 p.m., Dec. 12, at the Fox Tucson Theatre, 17 W. Congress St. Get tickets here.

Desmond is a professor of sociology at Princeton University, where he founded and leads the Eviction Lab, a team of researchers, students and website architects who believe stable, affordable housing is central to human flourishing and economic mobility. His latest book examines why poverty continues to exist in America and how each of us can become a “poverty abolitionist.” Primavera Foundation is presenting this special engagement to mark its 40th anniversary, with proceeds helping Primavera continue its vital work.


The Primavera Foundation provides pathways out of poverty through safe, affordable housing, workforce development, and neighborhood revitalization. Primavera’s vision promotes social and economic justice, while working to build a future in which all people are assured basic human rights, a livable income, and safe, affordable housing. Learn more at www.primavera.org.


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