MARCH ISSUE OF CITYSCAPE SHEDS NEW LIGHT ON HOMELESSNESS
WASHINGTON – How will the United States work to solve homelessness? The latest issue of Cityscape, a quarterly magazine published by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, examines homelessness and the organizations that are working to assist America’s homeless population.
HUD supported the researchers who provided the content for this month’s issue of Cityscape through the Department’s Doctoral Dissertation Research Grant (DDRG) program. Since 1994, this research program has helped more than 2,500 students to cultivate their research skills through the preparation of dissertations. Through the DDRG team’s investigation, this month’s Cityscape provides a snapshot of homelessness in America and represents outstanding HUD-sponsored research, including:
Courtney Cronley of Rutgers Universityexplores the use of management information systems by homeless service providers finding those providers surveyed showed high levels of organizational resistance to technological change. Thus, educating local leadership about the utility and ease of use of new technologies, such as an information management system, is challenging although it is critical and essential to the success of national programs.
George Carter of the U.S. Census Bureauexamined the overrepresentation of African Americans in the homeless population, which represents 13 percent of the U.S. population but account for approximately 40 percent of the homeless persons. Carter found that overall metropolitan area housing segregation is linked to higher levels of black homelessness as well as the clustering of services available to homeless people at the urban core, where there is often a large minority population.
Tatjana Meschede of Brandeis Universitystudied the achievements and failures of services attempting to reach those most likely to be left out of the homeless service delivery model—the chronically homeless street population. Meschede’s study investigates the bridges and barriers to housing for 174 chronically homeless street dwellers in urban Boston and examines whether the services provided by public shelters, healthcare professionals, detoxification centers, and substance-abuse programs actually help homeless individuals move off the street and into permanent housing. Although providers typically worked to address other needs of the homeless clients, the clients themselves were much more focused on housing. Meschede’s work led her to conclude that “access to services and benefits alone cannot solve the homeless crisis. The long-term goal of ending chronic homelessness can only be achieved with sufficient resources to address the housing needs of this population, in addition to their service needs. As such, no services to the chronically homeless street population should be delivered without the focus on permanent housing.”
This month’s guest editor Susan Brunson, writes that “The process of discovery that results from talented new scholars armed with the tools of their respective disciplines may help this country make progress against (homelessness).”
Beginning with this issue, Cityscape will also present brief reactions to the Symposium articles from distinguished foreign scholars who have examined similar issues in their own countries. Suzanne Fitzpatrick of Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland, and Julie Christian of the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom pointed to groundbreaking European analyses of housing and social inclusion.
Cityscape is a scholarly journal published by HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research. The opinions expressed in individual articles do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department.
HUD's mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD is working to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination; and transform the way HUD does business. More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet at www.hud.gov and espanol.hud.gov.