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Federal Definition of Homelessness

An individual or family who: lacks a regular, fixed nighttime residence, who will immediately lose their primary nighttime residence, is fleeing domestic violence, sexual assault, other dangerous conditions; Unaccompanied youth under 25 or families w/ children who do not otherwise qualify under homeless under this definition.

Previous definition was narrow, only helps in determining who needs homeless services at a particular time

Thomas Harman

Wrote on vagabonds through interviews

Henry Mayhew

In 1861 wrote "London Labour and the London Poor" about poor in England using Ethnographic approach
"Hence all society would appear to arrange itself into
four different classes."
1. Those that will work
2. Those that cannot work
3. Those that will not work
4. Those that need not work

Jacob Riis

In 1890 wrote "How the Other Half Lives"
Danish immigrant, lived in poverty among homeless
*May have been the first reformer to view the poor as victims rather than the cause of their own poverty*
Work became a classic, led to the closing of worst police lodging houses
Photographed homeless

Charles Booth

1902-1904 wrote "Life and the Labour of the People in London"
British businessman, politician, and soc. reformer who org. and directed a major survey of the poor in London
Lived among the poor as a method of developing pertinent questions
Laid groundwork for a universal pension sys.

Mary Higgs

1906 wrote "Glimpses into the Abyss"
Social reformer in Victorian England
College grad, worked as a teacher but gave up teaching in 1891 to improve lives of poor and homeless women
Posed as a poor woman seeking employment in order to better understand women's situation of homelessness
Founded a women's lodging house and the National Association for Women's Lodging Houses, and opened a school for mothers

Stuart Al Rice

1918 wrote "The Homeless"
Superintendent of New York's Municipal Lodging House, wrote article ("The Homeless") that lead to significant advances in social policy
Four-tiered classification system
1. The Self-Supported
2. The Temporary Dependent
3. The Chronically Dependent
4. The Parasitic
Called for a farm colony outside the city came to be in 1934 with the establishment of a work camp at Camp La Guardia

Eleanor Roosevelt

Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt champion of human rights
Helped tocreate Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948): Relevance to Homelessness

Franklin D Roosevelt

"New Deal Reforms"
Federal Emergency Relief Administration included the first federal program specifically for the homeless: the Federal Transient Program (FTP)
Social Security Act (August 14th, 1935)
*Established first federal programs for the homeless*

Nels Anderson

1930 wrote "The Milk and Honey Route"
Sociologist used ethnography and survey research to study hobo/tramp culture/Chicago and New York Skid Rows
He provided a glossary with his writing of hobo terms

Philip Gibbs

1935 wrote "England Speaks"
British journalist
Described England through the lives of people in different circumstances, including homeless people

Ben Benson

1937 wrote "How to Go to California Without a Dollar" from the Hobo News

Stewart B. McKinney

McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act of 1986: United States federal law that provides federal money for homeless shelter programs
Entitles homeless children to remain in their previous schools, even though they frequently change schools due to moving

Ervin Goffman

One impetus for deinstitutionalization was a book by Goffman
Goffman argued that, over time, patients become "institutionalized," contributing to chronicity of mental illness
Goffman based his conclusions on his participant observation field work

Classification of Homeless People

Early classified by Martin Luther and John Awdeley
Stuart Al Rice Classification:
1. The Self-Supported
2. The Temporary Dependent
3. The Chronically Dependent
4. The Parasitic
Henry Mayhew Classification
Those who: Will Work, Cannot Work, Will Not Work

Act for Relief of the Poor (1601)

England, pop. growth and famine in late 1500s increase number of wandering poor
Deserving vs. Undeserving
Act codified 1572 compulsory poor law tax, 1576 idea of workhouses,1597 post of "Overseer of the Poor"
Laws didn't alleviate poverty

Deserving vs. Undeserving

Act for Relief of the Poor (1601)
Distinguished b/w:
"Deserving" (elderly, young, families)
"Undeserving" (criminals, beggars)

Affect of Act for Relief of the Poor in 1834

new law reformed system, and later when found inadequate, new system again developed in 1929

Homelessness from Colonial Times to Present

National tragedy since America's founding
During colonial period, large numbers of "vagabonds" transported from England to American colonies of 18th Century

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834

Created for the Amendment and better admin. of the laws relating to the poor ion England
Did away with a mix of old laws, created unified strategy
Stipulated that the poor receiving parish assistance (orphans, widows, unmarried poor women, aged, infirm, homeless) had to live in workhouses and perform work

What year was the Poor Law Amendment of of 1834 revised and why?

1929, found inadequate b/c of new problems dealing with the Great Depression and following WWI and Industrial Revolution


Someone who moves from place to place without a fixed home


Place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment (USA)


Place where those unable to support themselves were offered accommodation and employment (England)

The Bonus Army

Great Depression dev, many WWI vets out of work and many homeless
1932, "Bonus Army" was an assemblage of 43,000 marchers (17,000 WWI vets and families) that gathered in Washington DC to demand immediate cash redemption of service certificates
Eventually received bonuses in 1936


Makeshift houses built by homeless people during the Great Depression as part of Bonus Army
Named after Herbert Hoover, who was President, blamed

Skid Row

run-down urban area with a large, impoverished population

Camp La Guardia

Camp News Report, 1937, called for by Stuart Al Rice
work camp for poor and homeless men from New York in 1934
Closed in 2006

Veterans (Percentage of homeless men that are vets?)

41% Homeless Men are veterans
Homelessness from Great Depression abated when they joined mil in 1940 for WWII
End of WWII brought homelessness back as a major problem
Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (G. I. Bill) helped by providing a range of benefits

Influence of Wars on Homelessness

WWI, WWII, Korea, and Vietnam
Drew homeless in to volunteer for war
Following war, homelessness reappears
Cause of PTSD, substance abuse, physical disabilities which can cause homelessness

Great Depression

1929-Early 1940's
Stock market crash in 1929 marks the beginning
Business failure + unemployment leads to loss of housing
Dust Bowl: During this time great plains were hit by drought/dust storms, and so farmers greatly suffered
Following WWI, Great Depression developed as veterans were out of work and became homeless

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

December 10, 1948, the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt champion of human rights
Relevant to homelessness and promotes community service

New Deal

Through Roosevelt
economic programs enacted in the United States
In response to Great Depression, Three R's: Relief, Recovery and Reform
Relief for the unemployed and poor; Recovery of the economy to normal levels; Reform of the financial system

US Department of Housing and Urban Development

Cabinet Department in the Executive Branch
Mission is to "increase home-ownership, support community development and increase access to affordable housing free from discrimination"
established in 1965 (President Lyndon B. Johnson)

United States Fair Housing Act

Primary law in US ensuring equal housing opportunity
Protects against housing discrimination on basis of race, color, gender, etc.
Empowers homeless people and service providers in overcoming community resistance to shelters and transitional/supportive housing
MLK closely associated to FHA

Deinstitutionalization: A Bold New Approach

1950s, antipsychotic/antidepressant drugs were dev helping patients who languished for years in mental hospitals now improving
At same time public outcry about terrible conditions of mental hospitals and cost
Believed patients have better quality of life if placed in community as long as community support is in place and is less expensive
One impetus for deinstitutionalization was a book by Goffman
argued that, over time, patients become "institutionalized," contributing to chronicity of mental illness

Study by psychologist David L. Rosenhan, "On Being Sane in insane Places", which challenged the validity of psychiatric diagnosis (lived among in center)
Kennedy before assassination - "bold new approach" -

Millennium Development Goals

eight international development goals that were established following the Millennium Summit of the United Nations in 2000
The first is to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

US Conference of Mayors and 10 Year Plans

Organization for cities with populations of 30,000 or more
Ending chronic homelessness in 10 years, done by for example awarding families grants and vouchers

Affordable Healthcare Act

Obama Care
ability to stay on parent's healthcare

Compassion Fatigue

loss of emotion/caring

Social Security Act

August 14th, 1935 drafted by Roosevelt as part of New Deal
Attempt to limit old age, poverty, unemployment
Provided benefits to retirees and the unemployed, and a lump-sum benefit at death

Why is it difficult to count/estimate the number of homeless individuals?

The number changes daily, due to people moving or living in a temporary residence, living in a motel one night and in a park the next
Living arrangements vary depending on episode of homelessness
Some don't want to be found

What are some approaches to establishing estimates? What are some problems with these approaches?

Where to Look: shelters, streets (both downtown and residential), transitional housing programs, outreach teams, feeding and health care programs, etc.
Gather Clarifying Information
Sampling or Counting: interview few people for more info b/c counting cannot estimate

What is meant by "point prevalence" and "period prevalence?"

Point: number of people homeless at a single point in time
Most common form of collection
Period: number of people homeless during a longer period of time such as a month or year

Major Estimates and Demographics

Approximately 3.5 million people (or 6-8% of the population) experience some type of homelessness in a year

Between 444,000 (October) and 842,000 (February) people were homeless at those particular points in time (colder in winter = less homeless)

In New York City and Philadelphia, about 1% of entire city population were homeless on a given day

About 70-80% of single homeless adults are men

Most b/w ages 18-50

African Americans are disproportionately represented

Generally, 42% African American, 39% Caucasian, 13% Hispanic, 4% Native American, and 2% Asian American

Social Stigma

Coined by Ervin Goffman
Stigma consists of stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination, is the co-occurrence of labeling, stereotyping, separation, status loss, and discrimination
People are prejudice to homeless, denying them as human

Relationship b/w Mental Illness and Homelessness

Association b/w the two
Majority of homeless not mentally ill (exaggerated by public/media)
Mental Illness can develop after becoming homeless (generally believed to be the cause) due to trauma, fear

Relationship b/w Substance Abuse and Homelessness

General public view substance abuse as characteristic of homeless person, many think criminality
Not the majority have substance abuse/criminality

Myths regarding Homelessness

Substance Abuse, Criminality, Mental Illnesses associated with all homeless people
Homeless make neighborhoods worse
Belief of personal responsibility for homeless situation

Definition of Psychology

scientific study of the mind and behavior, including physiological and neurobiological processes that underlie mental functions and behavior, and the reciprocal interactions b/w person and environment
Focus of individual

Definition of Sociology

Scientific study of human social behavior, or the science of social interaction, or as the study of society

Definition of Social Work

consists of the professional application of social work values, principles, and techniques to:
helping people obtain tangible services;
counseling and psychotherapy;
helping communities or groups provide or improve social and health services;
participating in legislative processes.

Definition of Political Science

scientific study of the state, government, political systems and behavior, public policy, international relations, and human rights as codified in national and international law
Systematic study of human interactions involving power

What are some major Social Science research methods? Advantages/Disadvantages of each

Scientific Method

Experimental Design (Independent vs. Dependent Variables)
The major advantage of the Experimental Design is that it enables the researcher to demonstrate a causal relationship between the Independent Variable (IV) and the Dependent Variable (DV).
The major disadvantage is that it is often impossible, impractical, or unethical to manipulate the Independent Variable (IV).

Internal (random assignment) vs. External Validity (random selection)

Quasi Experimental Design
Advantage: The quasi-experimental design can be used when it is impossible, impractical, or unethical to manipulate the IV.
Disadvantage: Since a quasi-experimental design does not involve random assignment to groups, the Independent Variable (IV) is not truly manipulated, and so a causal relationship between the IV and DV cannot be fully inferred.

Correlational Design: determines the relationship between two variables.
Provides information that is useful in making predictions about future behavior.
Generate hypotheses to be tested with more sophisticated designs.
One can never infer causation from a correlation because...
The direction of the cause is often unclear; and
It is possible that a third variable causes both variables.

The Hobo News

Published in NYC, publisher was Ben (Hobo) Benson, the "Coast Kid" who had been on the road since 1898
Each issue provided:
1. advice for hobos (e.g., what places to avoid or what trains to ride)
2. opinion pieces supporting the hobo lifestyle and railing against government restrictions
3. Cartoons
4. Poems
5. Personal accounts of life on the road

Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944 (G. I. Bill)

helped veterans by providing a range of benefits, including low-cost mortgages, loans to start a business or farm, payment of college tuition and living expense, high school or vocational education, and unemployment compensation

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