Homelessness in the United States--Data and Issues

By Jamshid A. Momeni | Go to book overview

11
No Place to Go: A National Picture of Homelessness in America

Jamshid A. Momeni

The number of homeless in the United States in the 1950s was estimated at about 100,000 ( Bogue, 1963). Since the early 1980s, however, homelessness has become a major and growing social and public health problem in the country. The estimate of the total number of homeless runs anywhere between 250,000 and 3.5 million. And, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ( 1989) the number of shelters grew by 190 percent between 1984 and 1988; the total number of shelter beds increased by 180 percent. As pointed out by Kozol ( 1989), the problem has grown so much that the American Institute of Architects is discussing "shelter architecture" for the homeless. As accurately indicated by Kozol ( 1989), we are now observing the evolution of new vocabularies and terminologies such as "shelter management," "homeless law," "shelter medicine," and "shelter residents." In Arizona, shelters are organized in terms of "Tier I" (short-term), "Tier II" (6-12 months), and "Tier III" (long-term) shelters for the purpose of housing a host of homeless persons ranging from transients to the long-term permanently homeless, respectively. The shelter residents are described as "guests" or "clients." "Transitional shelters" rather than housing are being built. A couple of regularly published periodicals dealing with the homeless issue (e.g., Safety Network) have also appeared. We even have the 1987 Stewart B. McKinney Act (or Law) providing financial aids to the shelters. Privately owned homeless hotels and motels have mushroomed in the major cities. Washington, D.C., and New York City have several such hotels and motels. While shelters are becoming the low-income housing of the 1980s, homeless hotels and motels are replacing the traditional hotels with Single-Room Occupancy units. Shelters represent an area with major growth in housing for

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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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