Thursday, March 29, 2012

Nothing New Under the Sun

Promoters of the plan to combine the city court and police headquarters with housing for formerly homeless adults describe it as innovative, creative, and an example of "thinking outside the box." While it may be true that using funding from the Homeless Housing and Assistance Program (HHAP) to finance a municipal building hasn't been done before, the idea of combining the police and the homeless appears not to be new at all. 

This morning on WAMC, Joe Donahue interviewed Richard Zacks about his book Island of Vice: Theodore Roosevelt's Doomed Quest to Clean Up Sin-loving New York. Mentioned in passing was this bit of information: At the time when Roosevelt was trying to root out vice and corruption in New York City, it seems to have been the practice to have homeless shelters in the basements of police stations.  

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