[Hpn] Closer to homes; Boston Globe Editorial; 7/20/2002

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Sat, 20 Jul 2002 08:05:13 -0400


-------Forwarded Editorial-------

Saturday, July 20, 2002
Boston Globe <http://www.boston.com/globe>
[Boston, Massachusetts]
Editorial/Opinion section
A Boston Globe Editorial
Closer to homes
<http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/201/editorials/Closer_to_homes+.shtml>

7/20/2002

HE BUSH administration is tackling homelessness and the paradox that in the 
world's richest nation, people still sleep on the streets.

Cynics may wonder why this effort is different from others. The answer is a 
strategy to unite various federal agencies.

This week the Interagency Council on Homelessness met for the first time in 
six years. Officials announced a $35 million plan to address homelessness - 
part of President Bush's goal to end chronic homelessness in 10 years.

The money will help homeless individuals. Some are veterans. Some have 
substance abuse problems. Some suffer from physical disabilities or mental 
illnesses. Others have gotten out of jail or aged out of foster care and 
found themselves with nowhere to live.

The federal dollars will support housing linked to social services such as 
substance abuse and mental health counseling.

Three federal departments are joining forces: Housing and Urban Development, 
which will invest $20 million, Health and Human Services, which will invest 
$10 million, and Veterans Affairs, which will invest $5 million.

These agencies are also streamlining the paperwork so funds can be disbursed 
quickly and efficiently. This should quiet complaints that getting federal 
funds can be a bureaucratic nightmare.

Bush will accomplish a compassionate conservative victory if his 
administration can pull even more agencies into the fight for the rest of 
his presidency.

As the interagency council's executive director, Philip Mangano, points out, 
the government targets $2 billion for homelessness. But even more can be 
done by tapping some of the $500 billion in other federal programs.

''Why go to the sandbox when you can go to the beach?'' says Mangano, former 
head of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. There are many ways 
to use government money more effectively, he says.

Prevention and intervention are essential. So the Justice Department is 
running a multiagency effort to help offenders who leave prison, providing 
services that should, among other things, ease homelessness in an at-risk 
population.

As part of the No Child Left Behind Act, the Department of Education is 
placing advocates in school districts to ensure that homeless children have 
access to schools.

The challenge of all this work is to keep the agencies in productive 
conversations and avoid the communication breakdowns that have plagued other 
interagency efforts. Instead of protecting turf, officials should be finding 
and spreading innovative programs to prevent and end homelessness.

This ought to be the land of the free and the home of the housed.

This story ran on page A12 of the Boston Globe on 7/20/2002.

---End of forwarded editorial---

Interagency Council on Homelessness:

http://www.ich.gov/

-- "Congress established the Interagency Council on Homelessness in 1987 
with the passage of the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. The 
Council is responsible for providing Federal leadership for activities to 
assist homeless families and individuals."

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**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this
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-------End of forward-------

Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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