This general lecture note discusses several of the issues relevant to the course in a brief outline format, giving a framework for topics discussed during the semester.
Three Models of Housing and Services
- Continuum of care
This type of care moves from one physical setting to another. It can get more or less intense and dense i.e. from hospital to single family home (CMI) or single family home to nursing home (Elderly).
- "Deal with problem"
- Isolate (LCK problem people)
This method is also used in schools: Otis Pint notes that is how kids with "a problem" are handled. One example of this is that they are put into a bad school. Another way to do it is prison. The idea is to get them into another system. People are shuffled from a housing system to a prison system or detox system.
- Bring care to the place
Continuum of Care
- Key is housing and income.
- Key is services and coordination: put problem where it belongs.
Types of homelessness:
- Situational (e.g. fire, job loss, divorce)
The silo issue (homelessness as a residual phenomenon):
- Drug Centers
In their discussion of homelessness in Massachusetts, Marty and Don end up with a discussion of meta-frames:
- Market driven supply/demand
- Social welfare (consumer sovereignty)
- Social control
Essentially the position of the paper is that different agencies held different meta-frames: EOCD's frames were market driven and social control; DPW was social welfare, and what ended up in the "four woman compromise" was essentially all four agencies buying into some combination of the three tactics. An alternative view is that each agency is always balancing some combination of the three - it is just that the emphasis may be different. What must occur is some combination of the elements in the same relationship and dynamic. All three frames are always at play: the issue is which one the agencies give preference to and allowed to dominate.
- Why does one intervene?
- How does one intervene?
- What assumption about the "cause" of the problem / issue underlies the why and how?
Why does one undertake social intervention?
How does one intervene?
- Service strategy
- Hard services: job training, day care, remedial language etc.
- Skill building or removal of specific flaw/problem (drug treatment)
- Soft services: interpersonal, psychological, family child raising skills (drug prevention).
- Specific goods: Section 8, food stamps, Medicaid
- Money: Let people operate in the market (Marty's Demand). This view of the homeless coalition assumes that all you have to do is raise the welfare benefits.
- Sticks (sanctions)
- If you don't STOP DOING x, then y will follow. (E.g. If you don't stop dealing drugs you will be thrown out of public housing. If you don't stop abusing them we will take your kids away.)
- Combination Of Carrots And Sticks
- If you WANT x, then you HAVE TO TAKE y. (E.g. If you want payments you have to work. If you want a voucher you have to take services from DSS to learn how to parent.)
Underlying Assumptions About the "Cause" of the Problem
At the meta-level there is a fundamental distinction between the view that what makes someone a "problem" (or presents as having a "need") is:
- An issue of personal responsibility. (Mead, Gilder, Murray)
- The failure of "the system" to provide viable job opportunities. I.e. the structural argument (Katz, Wilson)
- A middle ground of interaction of the two. (Ellwood) (maybe J.Q. Wilson by indirection)
What is the relationship between one's meta view on the personal responsibility/structural cause dichotomy and the why and how questions.
Why and How Questions Table
How (if at all) are these categories and frames useful in the discussion of flaws in execution? (Here the discussion focuses specifically on how the DSS, DPW, and EOCD roles were established for families in the shelters. I.e. that DSS would provide treatment for people who were clearly at risk of not making it in housing.)
Flaws are of three kinds:
- Political unwillingness to fund: design flaw in the inability to deliver the resources at the right time. E.g. the legislature doesn't give money for vouchers for people "at risk."
- People don't play their role: DSS didn't do what it said it would do.
- The program was flawed in design: I.e. it drove people into the shelters and didn't give them DSS workers or chances for vouchers in the home; it was conceptually wrong.
- Who served: type of population classified by situation/age (e.g. teen-age parent in prison).
- Where served: facility/scattered.
- How served:
- Coop/Communal vs. individual
- Volunteer vs. required
- Rest vs. non-rest
- Physical characteristics
- Large scale/small scale (cost benefit of scale management services)
- Shared space/private space (collective community vs. more traditional model)
- Special facility/scattered site (integrate into community vs need for private identity)
- Shapes character and size of physical space driven by conceptual model of who is being served and how and why.
- Kinds of services: hard vs. soft
- Where provided: in facility vs. off site elsewhere
- Mandatory vs. voluntary