This is our ECON 3240 page on Homelessness. It has been many years since Angela Mooney rode in a long black hearse to dramatize her opposition to a shelter for homeless families in Briarwood Queens. But blocking the shelter Mayor Koch she and her neighbors formed the Briarwood Shelter Community Advisory Committee to make sure the city treated the range of problems the homeless face (including the threat of COVID-19). Now Briarwood has a whole range of shelters and social services agencies. Many argue homelessness is a symptom of other problems, including lack of jobs, mental illness or very high rents and housing costs. Hence the best solution for homelessness may be to find and/or train for a new job. Two NGOs that focus on job search and training are ATD Fourth World in Paris and Madrid (see Banerjee & Duflo 2019, p 234) and Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles. Both of these groups focus on moving homeless or returning citizens into productive employment (see their web pages).
New York City’s Coalition for the Homeless is a very active NGO advocating on behalf of the Homeless.
April 4th 2020 California places 900 Homeless in hotels Cal Matters
This Aljazeera Documentary argues 2015 NYC homelessness reached a new high Shadow City: Homelessness in New York | Fault Lines But is this correct? See Coalition for the Homeless NYC data.
NY TImes April 17th 2021 One way to get people off the street: Buy Hotels
An April 2021 article in The City profiled homeless New Yorkers living behind the Bronx Zoo and summarizes a recent Coalition report titled the View from the Street. Critics of welfare sometimes claim the system itself creates the problem: this is one case where there may be an element of truth in this charge: to get access to “Safe Haven Housing” in NYC one has to be observed living on the street so to speak for one year… read this report for more details. That said, the pain and suffering implied by living outside in NY during a February NYC Hope Count to obtain “free” or low-cost housing reveals how absurd this “welfare-causes poverty” argument is (affordable housing is another story, A Billion Americans on why) so what we see as homelessness may be a long line of people waiting (desperate for?) safe & inexpensive housing… see Jencks, 1995 The Homeless (978-0674405967) GS: cited by 800
See Figure 1 in this excellent review paper commissioned by a research center we know: Evans, William, David Philips, and Krista Ruffini (2019) Reducing and Preventing Homelessness: A Review of the Evidence and Charting a Research Agenda. No. NBER 26232. PDF MIT Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
Al Jazeera English 742K views 9:31NOW PLAYING
This video is a PBS Newshour feature on a Dallas Program
Giving people homes as soon as they need them – unconditionally. Finland is the only EU country where homelessness is falling. How does it deal with homelessness, is this solution applicable in other cities or countries? See Facts about homelessness in New York City 2019 HUD on housing market predictors homelessness in a city… pdf report
Tiny houses in Toronto (NY Times April 2021) Tiny Houses for Homeless in LA: are they humane?
LA Tiny Homes Village with a giant price tag December 2020
‘It’s a Miracle’: Helsinki’s Radical Solution to Homelessness‘
NY Times Virtual Tour of Homeless camps in Oakland and Mexico
Is Public Housing Demolition the Problem? See the Towers came down, and with them the promise of public housing NY Times Magazine, Feb 6th 2018