Homeless Strategy Essay

1295 Words Jun 27th, 2012 6 Pages
Homeless Family Strategy: A Policy Evaluation Modern Public Administration Professor W. H. Roberts
The case at hand addresses the crisis of homelessness in Seattle. Mayor Schell attempts to tackle the problem and makes a pledge to end the epidemic that he may or may not be able to keep. Specifically, the mayor pledges in June that by Christmas 1998 there will not be homeless women or children living on the streets of his cities (Electronic Hallway). This pledge garnered mass attention as it was run on both local newspapers and televised. Homelessness is robust in nature and scope and takes more than a pledge and good will to eliminate. It may not be within his realm of possibility either fiscally or
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At the time of the article, on any given night, 5500 persons were homeless in King County on any given night; 1300 on the street and 4200 in transitional housing (www.kingcounty.gov). According to the Committee to End Homelessness’s 2010 estimates, the homeless population in King County hovers around 8000 nightly in the cities and rural areas. Nearly 3000 of these meet the federal criteria for habitual homeless. Even more startling is the fact that close to thirty percent of the county’s homeless is mentally ill. Others are victims of domestic violence or homeless due to unemployment, substance abuse or some economic hardship. Longstanding efforts at reducing or eliminating homelessness have been geared toward policing the homeless population. This method has proven costly, inadequate and often ineffective. The prevailing mindset now is that access to housing before those suffering become chronically homeless is the only sensible and economically logical way to end homelessness. It’s a more hands on, direct approach that could provide long-term answer to homelessness (www.kingcounty.gov/homelessness). Seattle has historically taken a comprehensive approach to dealing with homelessness. Between 1980-1997, various measures have been implemented and funds appropriated toward assisting homeless families. Property tax increases were approved to fund low income housing. It has received federal dollars to help support homeless population. Public,

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