Dan Kerr has recently published Derelict Paradise: Homelessness and Urban Development in Cleveland, Ohio where he seeks answers to the question, “Who benefits from homelessness?” The book, rooted in themes generated out of the Cleveland Homeless Oral History Project (CHOHP), takes the reader on a sweeping tour of Cleveland’s history from the late nineteenth-century through the early twenty-first.
Kerr is currently working on a manuscript addressing the research he conducted with CHOHP where he has interviewed close to 200 homeless people and has facilitated dozens of workshops and meetings in the shelters and drop-in centers of Cleveland, Ohio. He addresses this work in detail in his article, “We Know What the Problem Is,” in Oral History Review, Winter/Spring 2003.
From 2005-2011, Kerr taught at James Madison University where he directed the Shenandoah Valley Oral History Project and researched and taught a class on the history of the poultry industry. Kerr currently serves as the acting director of the public history program at American University. He teaches courses in environmental history, urban social history, community history, oral history, and public history. Kerr has made an active effort to make his research accessible and relevant to those who promote social justice in the community.