Today, much of public policy debate takes place in a social vacuum. This is partly because policy issues are often rather arbitrarily assigned to particular and seemingly unconnected disciplines that put a premium on maintaining their separate baronies of intellectual hegemony, and partly because of our own too-pervasive proclivity for compartmentalizing in order to simplify. One of the goals of the New England Journal of Public Policy is to invade, as it were, these baronies, to liberate the policy issues held hostage there and release them into a broader, more human context, one that accentuates the idea of connectedness as the hallmark of continuity in public affairs.
For this special issue, therefore, we have drawn on contributors from all quarters — from people who work with the homeless, human service advocates, social workers, mental health professionals, housing experts, the medical community, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, and "ologists" from many other fields. Some contributors do not agree with one another, and I have encouraged them to pursue their disagreements passionately, in the belief that the clash of opposing voices invigorates our thinking and makes us re-examine our own suppositions, that out of the hot crucible of debate emerges the distillation of ideas germane to finding new ways of looking at old dilemmas. But the emphasis throughout is on the homeless as human beings — we get behind the numbers and make the homeless a living part of the issue.
Hence the voices of the homeless themselves.
New England Journal of Public Policy:
1, Article 2.
Available at: http://scholarworks.umb.edu/nejpp/vol8/iss1/2