International Encyclopedia of Public Policy and Administration - Vol. 2

By Jay M. Shafritz | Go to book overview

eral federal agencies to provide grants to states and localities to increase subsidized housing and shelter support for the homeless and to provide services to the homeless and those vulnerable to becoming homeless.

States have generally played a lesser role than localities and the federal government in addressing homelessness. A number of states have initiated eviction-prevention programs, provided matching funds for federal programs, and undertaken coordinating efforts.

The policy and programmatic response to homelessness has evolved over the years from, essentially, shortterm emergency efforts to recognition that resolving the homeless problem requires a more sustained and broadbased effort. Recent initiatives include providing priority to homeless families for permanent housing subsidy; supporting transitional housing programs, which provide six- month to two-year housing, along with job training and other services; linking services with permanent housing; and other efforts. Many localities are working to develop coordinated systems of services for homeless individuals and families. some are developing centralized intake services, even though much of the emergency support is provided by a diverse collection of nonprofit and governmental organizations.

Homelessness as a problem has an uncertain future. Although the policy response has begun to recognize the serious and enduring nature of the problem, there are few indications that certain solutions have been found. Indeed, one fear is that large-scale homelessness will become accepted; some would say that it has already been accepted as a normal part of society. Others believe that a foundation has been laid for genuine, sustained progress in eliminating the problem.

RALPH S. HAMBRICK, JR., AND DEBRA J. ROG


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Baum, Alice S., and Donald Burnes W, 1993. A Nation in Denial. The Truth About Homelessness. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.

Blau, Joel, 1992. The Visible Poor. Homelessness in the United States. New York: Oxford University Press.

Burt, Martha R., 1992. Over the Edge: The Growth of Homelessness in the 1980s. New York: Russell Sage Foundation.

Burt, Martha R., and Barbara E. Cohen, 1989. America's Homeless: Numbers, Characteristics, and Programs That Serve Them. Washington, DC: Urban Institute Press.

Caplow, Theodore, Howard M. Bahr, and David Sternberg, 1968. "Homelessness". In David L. Sills, ed., International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences. pp. 494-499. New York: Macmillan and the Free Press.

Fallis, George, and Alex Murray, eds., 1990. Housing the Homeless and Poor. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Glasser, Irene, 1994. Homelessness in Global Perspective. New York: G. K. Hall.

Jencks, Christopher, 1994. The Homeless. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Rossi, Peter H., 1989. Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Schutt, Russell K., 1992. Responding to the Homeless: Policy and Practice. New York: Plenum Press.

Seltser, Barry Jay, and Donald E. Miller, 1993. Homeless Families: The Struggle for Dignity. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, 1994. Priority: Home!: The Federal Plan to Break the Cycle of Homelessness. Washington, DC: GPO.

Wright, James D., 1989. Address Unknown: The Homeless in America. New York: Walter deGruyter.

HOOVER COMMISSIONS. Two comprehensive studies established by congressional statute in 1947 and again in 1953 and undertaken in the years 1947-1949 and 1953-1955 that focused on the executive branch of government in United States. The two commissions examined the organization and functions of public administration and the need to curtail government growth.

Although the formal designation of each of these study commissions was "A Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government," the Hoover Commission derived its title from its popular chair, President Herbert Hoover. Indeed, the studies themselves were infused with his personality and philosophy, derived first from his international business background and then from his experience as a public administrator and President ( Moe 1982).

The studies of the Hoover Commission were significant because they were inspired and commissioned by Congress and because they enjoyed the cooperation of both Congress and President in a unique joint effort to limit the size of government and to curtail the growth of the executive branch. The studies were broad and comprehensive in their coverage of these goals and bipartisan in their underlying assumptions concerning the role that public administration should play in the life of the nation. Over the years, numerous bills have been introduced in Congress to establish major study commissions patterned after the two Hoover Commissions.


The First Hoover Commission: 1947-1949

The first Hoover Commission was established by statute ( Statute 61 [ 1947]: 246) and was a milestone in public administration. As the first major national inquiry after World War II, it impacted United States public administration and initiated similar studies in other Western democracies.

The first Hoover Commission's charge was to examine the machinery of government. Its calling was supposed to be to reduce the number of government agencies created during World War II, but it did not do this. Instead, if focused its efforts on strengthening the executive branch of

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