|Abstract or Summary
- Homelessness has many faces, several of which society will never truly see. The homeless population has begun to change during the recession, as families lose their homes to foreclosures due to high interest mortgages or become evicted from rental dwellings as one or both wage earners lose employment. The initial goal of this research is to illustrate that using multiple theories to discuss the homeless issue provides a realistic and in-depth understanding of homeless policy and its impacts upon the homeless population. Secondly to determine if the most current homeless legislation, the HEARTH Act, distribute benefits and burdens in a way consistent with the legislation predicted by the social construction framework. Lastly this study will examine the HEARTH Act’s impact upon those at risk of homelessness, and their ability to avoid the label of homelessness. The findings of this essay confirm that utilizing social exclusion theory, the social construction framework and labeling theory, provides a more realistic representation of the homeless issue. After the examination of the various policy areas and a thorough application of the social construction framework, the HEARTH act is determined to be consistent with predicted policy. The final conclusion is that those at-risk of homelessness will go to great lengths to avoid the label of homelessness. So while the HEARTH Act attempts to assist the at-risk population by offering housing services, it will not reach those targeted due to requirement of individuals to identify themselves as homeless.