The New Federal Homeless Czar

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If you are old enough to remember when John F. Kennedy was president, you may remember when homeless people were not a common sight, when it was still a shock to see people sleeping in boxes or on heating grates, when you hadn’t grown uncomfortably used to passing the tired, the poor – holding “HOMELESS… HUNGRY… GOD BLESS” signs near traffic lights.

If you remember that era, you may also recall JFK declaring in 1962 that the U.S. would put a man on the moon within the decade. It seemed impossible. Now the Bush administration says one of its goals is to abolish chronic homelessness in the next 10 years. It seems unlikely, but the man assigned to the task says he can do it.


Philip Mangano, HUD, executive director of Inter-agency Homeless Council

Rosanne Haggerty, executive director, Common Ground Community, New York City

Ed O’Neil, director of substance abuse counseling at the New England Shelter for Homeless Veterans