The Stewart McKinney Homeless Assistance Act: A Policy Analysis
Janelle Horton & Amy Lakin
Cornerstone University Introduction Homelessness has always been a problem for the United States. Since its birth as a nation, there have consistently been individuals who find themselves without a place to live, looking for shelter with family, friends, or simply anywhere they can find it. These individuals have been targeted as candidates for social aid, but this was primarily provided by churches and other care organizations. However, in the past thirty years the homeless population has increased almost exponentially in numbers. While the cause of this is undetermined, it is quite certain that while the …show more content…
The conservative view of homelessness is that people should require less government aid. Due to this, funding for welfare spending was cut in the early 80s, partially contributing to the increase in the number of homeless, in addition to increasing the number of those not receiving medical aid, putting them at risk for homelessness (Keisler, 1991). However, this same ideology seeks to help those who are homeless to enable them and get them back into society (Jencks, 1994).
The liberal view of homelessness is that it is primarily an economic and societal issue (Kondratas, 1991). The deinstitutionalization of the late 70s and early 80s was a primary cause, and those who left the mental institutions should have had a better safety net to fall back upon. They would believe that the government should provide more funding to the homeless in order to alleviate their program. If funding for low-income housing had not been cut, and if much of it had not been destroyed, there would be less of this social problem, at least according to their thinking. This group would be the primary advocates for the McKinney Act, although it was passed through a large cooperative effort between the conservatives and the liberals (Baumohl, 1994).
There are also a number of social work values that came into play when this bill was being researched and formulated. The primary one is the dignity and worth of an individual