The Stewart B Mckinney Homeless Assistance Act: a Policy Analysis

Topics: Homelessness, Homelessness in the United States, Poverty Pages: 12 (4169 words) Published: March 17, 2007
Running head: MCKINNEY ACT

The Stewart McKinney Homeless Assistance Act: A Policy Analysis Janelle Horton & Amy Lakin
Cornerstone University

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 homeless did present a social problem previously, there is no doubt that homelessness had reached a point that something had to be done about it on a national level. To begin to alleviate this problem, the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act was put into effect by the federal government. Many different economy issues were considered in the development of this bill, along with the conflict of politics and ideology. The history of homelessness also had to be considered before a bill could be implemented that would effectively stop the increase of homelessness by instating preventative forces and alleviating the situation as it remained. All these came together and resulted in what is known as the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act of 1987.

Paragraph about homelessness, particularly in grand rapids

Summary of the McKinney Act

The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act was the first major action taken by the US Federal Government to combat the social problem of homelessness (Baumohl, 1996). Their major act included measures recognizing the many long and short term needs of the homeless, including the authorization of $1 billion, and, following the death of its primary sponsor, Stewart B. McKinney, it was renamed the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. President Ronald Reagan signed the bill into law on July 22, 1987.

The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act contains nine titles covering different aspects of the homeless issue and intervention. Title I is a collection of six findings of Congress. These cover topics such as the homeless crisis now being faced, the worsening effect of homelessness on the lives of those it impacts, the indefinable causative factors, the difficulty of finding one or few specific solutions, the need for federal intervention in the matter, and government's responsibility in the issue. Title I also states the purpose of the act as being to establish a council regarding the homeless, called the Interagency Council on the Homeless, to coordinate the uses of public resources and programs, and to provide funds for the assistance of the homeless, with specific emphasis on target populations (Baumohl, 1996).

Title II provides the specifications of the Interagency Council on the Homeless. The Council is made up of the heads of fifteen federal agencies, and works to review the aid to the homeless, evaluate and suggest improvements to homeless programs, and prepare reports for the president. In addition, the measure eliminated the Federal Interagency Task Force on Food and Shelter for the Homeless and set up the new Council as its successor.

Title III specifies the terms for the Emergency Food and Shelter Grants Program within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It gives the definitions for the establishment of a dispensary board within FEMA and directed the use of funds distributed by Congress. Title IV's focus was emergency and transitional housing, giving the specifications of the funds distributed through HUD. Subtitle A required the development of a plan for addressing homelessness by large cities and counties in order to receive funding. Subtitle B is the Emergency Shelter Grants Program (ESG), providing funds...

References: Bassford, B. (2006). Frequently Asked Questions. Degage Ministries.
Baumohl, J
Burt, M.R. (1992). Over the Edge: The Growth of Homelessness in the 1980s. New
York: Russell Sage Foundation
Center for Creative Non-Violence. (2005). History and Chronology. Retrieved Dec. 4,
2006 from .
Ewalt, P.L. & Mulroy, E.A. (1996). Affordable Housing: A Basic Need and a Social
Foscarinis, M. (1991). The Politics of Homelessness: A Call to Action. American
Psychologist, 46, (11), 1232-7.
Foscarinis, M. (2000). A Conversation with Maria Foscarinis. Policy and Practice of
Public Human Services, 58, (1), 37-41
Grand Rapids Housing Commission. (2005). Bringing Affordable Housing to West
Michigan for 40 Years
Jencks, C. (1994). The Homeless. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Kent County Emergency Needs Task Force. (2005-2006). Kent County Emergency
Needs Task Force: 2005-2006 Update Report.
Kiesler, C.A. (1991). Homelessness and Public Policy Priorities. American Psychologist,
46, (11), 1245-52.
Kondratas, A. (1991). Ending Homelessness: Policy Challenges. American
Psychologist, 46, (11), 1226-31.
Michigan Continuum of Care. (2006). Baseline Data Report: The state of Michigan 's
National Coalition for the Homeless. (2006). NCH Fact Sheet #18. McKinney-Vento Act.
Retrieved on 12.4.2006 from .
National Coalition for the Homeless. (2006). NCH Fact Sheet #2. How Many People
Experience Homelessness? Retrieved on 12.4.2006 from
Oakley, D. (2002). Housing Homeless People: Local Mobilization of Federal
Resources to Fight NIMBYism
Smith, J. (ed.). (2006). New "Home at Last" Program Addresses Needs of the
Chronically Homeless
Rafferty, Y. (1997). Meeting the Educational Needs of Homeless Children. Educational
Leadership, 55, 48-52
Salem, D.A., Toro, P.A., Trickett, E.J., & Wall, D.D. (1991). Homelessness in the United
States: An Ecological Perspective
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Policy Analysis Paper copy
  • Essay about Policy Analysis and Influence Strategy
  • Indian Child Welfare Act: Policy Analysis Essay
  • Policy Analysis on Republic Act No. 9262 Essay
  • Policy Analysis Essay
  • Policy Analysis Essay
  • Critical Policy Analysis Essay
  • Assistance Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free