Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

Temporary shelters for those already homeless are, as stated above, a very poor solution; and of course they cannot be the answer in terms of preventive measures to help those at risk to avoid loss of their shelter. That is not to say we can abandon them, for we need them until we can substantially improve the supply of low-rent permanent housing, a development unlikely to be forthcoming in the near future. The problem of seeking short-term solution traps many Americans and their children in a homeless state from which they are unlikely to recover.

The long-term solutions are to provide housing of many types. While housing policy analysts talk of subsidy strategies in terms of below-market interest rates, housing allowances, capital for construction, tax-shelter investments, state housing bonds ( Hays, 1986; Huttman, 1986), one can also talk of housing assistance strategies for different homeless and at-risk groups. For the single alcoholic and drug abusers, SROs or congregate-housing arrangements are recommended. For the mentally ill the degree of illness can determine the most appropriate shelter, from treatment-service units to SROs to small apartments, as the Mental Health Association of San Francisco ( 1986) suggests. For some, the suggested threetier system of emergency shelters, transitional shelters, and then movement to low-cost permanent housing may be needed, especially if they have been homeless for a long period. For families it would seem that immediate use of apartments is the correct channel of help. Children suffer from the trauma of shelter living and of short-stay accommodations and constant moving.

For the elderly homeless or those at risk, unless in a problem category, it would seem that, besides provision of apartments for the elderly, for some, congregate housing with meals and housekeeping services would be suitable ( Huttman and Gurewitsch, 1988) as well as SROs for men ( Weeden and Linedan, 1987). For female-headed households, shared housing of a commune type may provide a cheap solution, certainly better than the present ones ( McChesney, 1986; Franck, 1988). This, as well as apartments, should be the solution for battered/abused women, although again special shelters are needed for immediate help.


REFERENCES

Bay Area Housing Briefs. 1986 (January). Trends and Information.

-----. 1987 (April, special issue). Potential Loss of Subsidized Housing, pp. 1-3.

-----. 1987 (October). Affordability, p. 7.

-----. 1988. (January). Trends and Info: On the Home Front, pp. 1-3.

-----. 1988 (February, special issue). Housing in San Francisco: Building for Affordability, pp. 1-4.

Business Week. 1987 (May 4). "Reform Hurts Apartment Building", p. 28.

Downs Anthony. 1983. Rental Housing in the 1980s. Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution.

Economic Road Maps (Published by the Conference Board). 1986. "Statistics on Productivity", p. 528.

-90-

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Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figure and Tables ix
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • 1: Counting the Homeless 1
  • Conclusion 13
  • References 15
  • 2: A Sociodemographic Profile of the Service-Using Homeless: Findings from a National Survey 17
  • References 36
  • 3: Food Sources and Intake of Homeless Persons 39
  • References 60
  • 4: Drug Abuse among Homeless People 61
  • References 76
  • 5: Homelessness as a Long-Term Housing Problem in America 81
  • References 90
  • 6: A Social-Psychiatric Perspective on Homelessness: Results from a Pittsburgh Study 95
  • Conclusions 107
  • References 108
  • References 108
  • References 108
  • 7: Sweat and Blood: Sources of Income on a Southern Skid Row 111
  • References 121
  • 8: Homeless Children and Their Caretakers 123
  • References 132
  • 9: Programs Dealing with Homelessness in the United States, Canada, and Britain 133
  • Conclusions 150
  • Acknowledgments 151
  • References 151
  • 10: Public Policies for Reducing Homelessness in America 153
  • Conclusion 163
  • Note 163
  • References 163
  • 11: No Place to Go: A National Picture of Homelessness in America 165
  • References 182
  • Select Bibliography 185
  • Index 191
  • About the Contributors 195
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