Homelessness is an issue that has come to the forefront, both locally and nationally, in the last decade. As the problem of homeless persons grows, so do the difficulties in constructing social policy to deal with the issue. Accordingly, this thesis focuses on policy implementation by examining the action taken by urban governments and the relationship between comprehensive local policy and the government. A comparative case study analysis is done using the cities of Portland, Oregon - a modem city on the cutting edge of homeless legislation, and Cleveland, Ohio - an older, industrialized city still very much wrestling with the problem of homelessness. This case study analysis reveals that Portland is much further along then Cleveland in the battle against homelessness due to a variety of reasons. Moreover, this paper brings to light that policy implementation in general can be very difficult, and that the implementation of successful homeless policy is very difficult and requires the commitment of many resources. This thesis then concludes with a discussion of future homeless policy and what our future urban leaders need to examine with regard to policy implementation.


Fitz Gibbon, Heather

Second Advisor

Godek, Stephen C.


Urban Studies

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

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© Copyright 1993 Jeffrey R. Rink