Homeless Strategy

1313 words 6 pages
Homeless Family Strategy: A Policy Evaluation Modern Public Administration Professor W. H. Roberts
The case at hand addresses the crisis of homelessness in Seattle. Mayor Schell attempts to tackle the problem and makes a pledge to end the epidemic that he may or may not be able to keep. Specifically, the mayor pledges in June that by Christmas 1998 there will not be homeless women or children living on the streets of his cities (Electronic Hallway). This pledge garnered mass attention as it was run on both local newspapers and televised. Homelessness is robust in nature and scope and takes more than a pledge and good will to eliminate. It may not be within his realm of possibility either fiscally or
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Seattle’s targeted strategies focus 1) client centered network of homeless resources and services, 2) maintaining current capacities at shelters so that valuable resources can go to other needed services to support homeless families, 3)focusing on supportive services such as education, employment, permanent housing as core elements to reducing chronic homelessness, and 4) being proactive in prevention of future homelessness. Of course, carefully assessing the program or completing an implementation study is needed before actually making any changes. Some key questions must be asked in order to ascertain the need or to reengineer a program to address homelessness in a manner that the mayor pledges. How is the approach to be funded, administered, and implemented? How will successes or failures be tracked? What’s the city’s current versus long-term policy for reducing or eliminating homelessness? What type of program will best provide appropriate services to the target population? Seattle/King County’s Planning and Advisory Committee on the Homeless must develop a strategic plan where it reengineers its system for responding to homeless populations. The thinking must shift so that there is a consensus that shelters are for emergency housing and each individual and/or family is best served by placement in permanent housing. Ultimately, the goal is to house the homeless before there’s


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