I find it ironic that as the UN International Year of Shelter for the Homeless comes to an end, headlines during December read "Homelessness Up Sharply Across U.S., Mayors Report," "Homeless Plight Made Worse by a Growing Backlash, Advocates Report," and "The Hurdles are High for Homeless Who Try to Get General Relief."
A little over a year ago, I attended an awards ceremony sponsored by the United Nations and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which recognized some worthy and innovative projects that deal with homeless people in the Los Angeles area or with national and international problems from a local base. I cannot fault the Los Angeles Times for lack of coverage of the UN IYSH, as this was virtually the only activity which recognized its existence. Even those who were honored that day never again received any more information about the international year.
Apparently, the Reagan Administration had decided to participate only on a low-key level. The word among homeless advocates is that the Administration does not recognize homelessness as a problem in the United States, and thus it would be inappropriate for us to participate on a par with countries like India and Bangladesh.