The challenge of assuring homeless people receive adequate shelter/places to live in.

Identify a public policy issue or an action-forcing incident (such as the growing population residing in New York
City shelters, for example) that represents an inadequacy in current government policy.
What is the problem? Identify the underlying problem, providing a context for the current situation. (For
example, lack of affordable housing for the working poor is the underlying problem that results in the growing
number of people ending up in shelters).
What does it look like? Provide measures of the problem that demonstrate its size, scope and impact on
affected parties. Include data or statistics, preferably in the form of a table or other graphic figure. Use the most
recent data available, gleaned from a reliable source. (For example, how many people are homeless in New
York City? The Coalition for the Homeless tracks the number of people residing in New York City shelters each
night. Use a table from the Coalition’s website, or create one of your own to depict the size and scope of the
Is there an existing policy? Problems generally occur due to policy failure—an inadequate law or policy that
fails to address a pressing issue. Problems also arise in the absence of an effective policy. Identify the existing
policy/law associated with the issue–give its exact title, as specified in the enacting legislation (for example,
New York City has a right to shelter mandate that was the result of litigation—Callahan v. Carey). Be sure to
include the policy’s jurisdiction (Callahan v. Carey applies throughout New York State), which should determine
the context for the data above as well as your discussion of the issue. In other words, if your issue is local, you
should be discussing it in the context of local government, providing local data, and so on. If your policy is
national, however, you might discuss it at that level or at the nexus of local, regional and national government,
depending on how it is implemented.
How did the current problem arise? Explain how the government (in the jurisdiction specified above) became
involved in this policy and how the issue arrived at its current state. Provide a timeline of the problem in
narrative form, focusing only on details relevant to the current issue (a graphic may also be included, but it is
limited in size to one-half of a single page). If the agency is thirty years old but the problem only arose two
years ago, the timeline narrative should focus on developments during that two year span. If the problem
began thirty years ago and the failing policy was developed two years ago to address the issue, go back as far
as necessary to give the reader a clear understanding of how the jurisdiction arrived at the present
circumstances. In either case, focus only on major developments relevant to the current situation. Do not talk
about developments outside of the jurisdiction in which the policy was made unless those outside
developments directly influenced the policy under discussion.
Who has felt the impact of the problem? Has the problem resulted in a disparate impact on any particular
group? Identify groups affected and the nature of the civil rights or civil liberties violations, if any, alleged.
Part One of the term paper must be in the form of a literature review, with each question representing a theme
or topic for discussion.

Sample Solution