ERIC Number: ED466520
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2001-Jan-22
Homelessness in Urban America: A Review of the Literature.
In the 1980s, homelessness attracted considerable attention from the media, advocates, politicians, and the public. Virtually every sector of society and the government responded. Interest in the issue has waned considerably since then, but the problem continues growing, particularly in large urban areas. While public policies address the problem, the nature and scale of responses have changed. Early state and federal policies were appropriate for what was considered a temporary result of economic recession, providing shelter and provisions to the homeless. These efforts expanded to prevent the growth of homelessness and create long-term housing for the chronically disabled homeless. Today, these trends continue, accompanied by efforts in revitalized urban areas to restrict the visibility and behavior of the homeless. Housed citizens are often frustrated when the highly visible homeless refuse to use local services, supporting punitive policies that criminalize activities such as sleeping or panhandling in public places. Homeless policy is at a crossroads. There is a wealth of information and research about the homeless, their needs, and the effectiveness of alternative solutions. The current economic prosperity and budget surpluses provide the ideal setting for expanded, innovative efforts to address this social problem. (Contains 132 references.) (SM)
Descriptors: Children, Family Structure, Homeless People, Homeless Shelters, Housing Needs, Mental Health, Public Policy, Urban Areas, Urban Problems
For full text: http://www.weingart.org/institute/research/projects.
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Fannie Mae Foundation, Washington, DC.; San Francisco Foundation, CA.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Berkeley. Inst. of Governmental Studies.
Note: Paper presented at the Urban Homelessness and Public Policy Solutions: A One-Day Conference (Berkeley, CA, January 22, 2001). Supported by California Building Industry Association, Cal Fed Bank, Corporation for Supportive Housing, and Institute for the Study of Homelessness and Poverty/Weingart Center.