Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Journal Article

Date of this Version

January 2002

Start Page


Last Page



Homelessness is back in the news, and is receiving increased attention from policy makers. Some communities have experienced a surge in homelessness, attributed to the slowing of the nation's economy alongside continued strength in metropolitan housing markets. New York City, faced with a record number of families in its shelter system this summer, drew the wrath of advocates when it opened a homeless intake center in a former city jail. In San Francisco, the issue became a major focus of debate during the recent mayoral election, as widespread street homelessness has persisted despite a decade of investments in the local homeless service system. Yet contrary to the pessimism that these examples may invite, many local communities have recently joined national advocacy organizations, as well as the Bush administration, in embracing the ambitious goal of "ending homelessness" in ten years. In some cases they have been joined by foundations and local business coalitions in pressing for more, and more strategically deployed, public and private resources to combat the problem.


Reprinted from Housing Facts and Findings, Volume 4, Issue 5, 2002, pages 1-7.


homelessness, public policy



Date Posted: 22 April 2008