Thursday, June 08, 2006

Housing first. Success second?

Wednesday's New York Times had an interesting piece on a new campaign to combat homelessness being pushed by Philip Mangano, who leads the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness for the Bush administration. The main thrust is to put homeless people into apartments of their own with no strings attached. It's an interesting approach to what has long been an intractable problem. For the homeless, there are obvious physical and psychological benefits to stable housing. My only question is what happens after people are given housing. Are there programs to help get residents on their feet? Do the dwellings turn into slums? I'm all for getting people off the street and into safe housing, but that can't be the measure of success.


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