Politics of homelessness: hidden motivations for the criminalization of homelessness
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Discussion of group power is illustrated through a case study of a community in the process of adopting anti-panhandling ordinances. Media analysis and local government documents are analyzed and detail the emergence of these policies. The objective of this research is to determine what propels cities to adopt criminalization of the homeless. It is found that power of local groups, the .growth machine. (city council and local business) work together to initiate anti-homeless polices in the interests of community growth, promotion of tourism, aesthetics, and economic concerns for the community and the downtown area. Concerns of citizenry are overlooked in this process and exemplify the power of the .growth machine. The issue of homeless is not addressed, instead the issue is treated as a problem to the community in which the only solution is through law enforcement and removal of the population rather than social services. The effect of these ordinances is that homelessness is still a problem, but remain invisible, solving only a symptom of homelessness rather than a cause. The homeless remain in the community without needed services provided. Conclusion offers policy recommendations.
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