National Coalition for the Homeless. (2007). Fact sheet on The Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Act. Retrieved March 03, 2018, from https://web.archive.org/web/20071203073025/http:/www.nationalhomeless.org/publications/facts/McKinney.pdf
This article provides that the Vento Policy consists of over ten programs that provide a number of services to people without homes. The policy aims at helping the homeless get temporary shelter if not permanent, basic healthcare, education and work training. This policy applies to any citizen who has no home, adults, children, handicapped, and so on. This program works within the policies founded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, HUD.
This Act operates on a clear definition of homelessness and uses this to categorize those people who are helped. Under this policy, the HUD provides crisis-response shelter services, temporary housing, training of workers and also permanent housing. In the past, especially during President Reagan's administration, there was no such policy in existence. In fact, homelessness was perceived to be just a local problem. This situation did not stay for long because a team of lawyers implored the Reagan administration to classify homelessness as a national problem. This saw the establishment of this policy to care for the citizens who had no roofs over their heads.
While it was initially a simple and basic Act, it has so far been amended four times to cater for the sociological changes. For instance, in 1990, there was a Congress amendment of this policy which was dubbed "Shelter Plus Care" program. This extended provision of services to housing the mentally disabled, HIV positive individuals and those struggling with drug addiction. Since the passing of the McKinney Vento Act, the government has significantly broadened the provisions and has also increased the funding towards the same. Considering the developments of how the policy has addressed homelessness, it is worth mentioning that the best way to approach homelessness is through legislation. Also, the so formed legislation should be reviewed constantly and amended to even further solve the emerging problems.
National Coalition for the Homeless (2009). NCH Public Policy Recommendations: HUD McKinney-Vento Reauthorization. Retrieved March 02, 2018, from http://www.nationalhomeless.org/factsheets/2009Policy/HMV.pdf
According to this article, the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act is the only ever established federal policy to respond to homelessness. It is purely focused on sheltering the homeless Americans. Homelessness, in this case, refers to any event that one is left with no place to live in due to unfortunate reasons. It became a problem because many citizens were losing their homes to mortgages; some lost their minds and couldn't stay at home, and so on. These were crowding in streets and it was becoming a menace which the government had to take care of.
This article also places the McKinney Vento Act in the context of the HUD. By design, it is a legislation which the senate and congress are obliged to vindicate by passing motions that develop it and decline those that undermine it. Given that it is the only policy in existence, it apparently has no alternative. In fact, the National Coalition for the Homeless insists that it is irreplaceable.
This article reiterates that the social provisions of this policy are to provide temporary housing, education, work training, and medical care. It also highlights a new strategy in the delivery of this policy's services whereby all homeless people are eligible for housing under the policy. Also, the groups benefiting from the program are to have flexibility in the manner in which they spend the federal funds given to them.
Apparently, in this article, the pre-2008 McKinney Vento Act was discriminatory because it reveals a case where the US Representatives and the Senators refuse to co-fund the whole policy until everyone homeless is included in the beneficiaries list. The reinforcement of the policy in this article is on the bases that since its establishment, it has restored many citizens to stable positions and also to permanent homes. It further moves to improve from an earlier flaw where even people were clearly homeless were ineligible for assistance due to the technical definition of homelessness. This article brings out a whole new McKinney Vento Act that is all-inclusive.
Interagency Council on Homelessness (n.d.). Retrieved March 03, 2018, from http://www.ich.gov/
This article is quite precise on the mission of the McKinney Policy. It is also general even in that precision in the manner in which it extends its services. Apparently, it focusses on helping all the homeless people get housing. The main aim is to, first of all, identify everyone that lacks shelter and consequently provide them with one. Most importantly, it doesn't just talk about providing housing but ensuring that the shelter provided is within the reach of their financial capability. It revolves around a philosophy that everyone should get a chance to be successful.
Just like in the previous versions, this article also includes health care, education, housing and employment in the entire policy. In this case, homelessness is being handled through an integrated approach of various relevant government agencies. Its evolution is the fact that addressing homelessness faced challenges like the victims getting associated with criminal activities. It also hints an improvement of the basic McKinney Policy such that no one is discriminated from getting assistance.
42 U.S. Code 11301 - Findings and purpose. (n.d.). Retrieved March 02, 2018, from https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/42/11301
According to this text, the policy specifically addresses steadily rising cases of homelessness which happen to catch everyone even the authorities by surprise. The entire article is more of findings of a study on homelessness than how a particular policy on the same. The findings capture a number of individuals that face the problem of homelessness extensively. It is also inclusive of the list covers individuals, families, the elderly, handicapped people, families that have children, Native Americans as well as the veterans.
This article emphasizes that this issue is gradually becoming catastrophic and poses a great risk to the lives of citizens. Considering that some of the homeless individuals are families with children. Bringing up a child up in the streets attracts infections and disease. The results could be worse to the extent of child mortality. The veterans generally require care for they are mostly old and delicate. These are people with even psychological issues to handle and adding homelessness makes their lives hell on earth. It would be a disservice if the government doesn't act to help these people secure temporary housing if not permanent ones
This agenda is partly a research finding and partly a basis for a housing policy is a work of dedicated attorneys. It also emphasizes the need to approach homelessness from a national perspective because the local governments by themselves cannot fully address the issue. Help must come from the federal government due to the huge financial demands involved. The argument here is that it is the responsibility of the federal government to provide basic services to its citizens. Also, this literature argues that the government has the capacity to take care of all the citizens.
The findings initiate a formation of an interagency council. The council utilizes funds from the federal government to meet urgent needs of homeless citizens. Also, this council works with the local authorities to sponsor locally set up programs that take care of the stranded individuals. While the original McKinney Act is quite neutral, this article suggests a policy that gives the elderly individuals, disabled persons, families that have children veterans, and Native Americans priority.
As it seems, there is only one policy in America that takes care of the homeless perfectly well and that is the McKinney Act. Established in the 80's, it has survived many years and has undergone several amendments to make it better and more relevant to current situations. In summary, it focuses on the homeless. The criterion used to arrive at homelessness of an individual to warrant them help has so far been reduced to the genuineness of it. The former technical definition is no longer used when classifying this category of the needy. In a nutshell, all funding is coming from the central government. Through the various agencies and programs established under McKinney Vento Act and through the supervision of HUD, these funds reach the homeless individuals.
This act remains more relevant is here to stay. This is because, situations which cause homeless are to some extent natural disasters like storms, hurricanes, and wildfires. It the responsibility of the federal government to keep strengthening this policy so that all citizens have homes at all times. This should be the very use of taxpayers' money.
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