Haley Scholars Spring 2013 Reading Groups
By Cindy Lyles
Malcolm Gladwell's essay “Million-Dollar Murray” details the issue of
homelessness and how various cities have attempted to remedy the
problem. Gladwell explains differing points of views on the issue, one
being that dealing with homelessness is less expensive to solve than
ignoring it. On the other hand, some believe that aiding the chronically
homeless (also known as the hard cases) via assisted-living programs
merely exacerbates rather than rehabilitates the problem.
Gladwell cites homelessness expert Philip Mangano, who says that rather
than "manage a social wrong. You should be ending it” (187).
Homelessness, according to Mangano, is a social wrong that those in
civic power fail to tackle with urgency. By spending more money in
medical costs and treatment for the homeless than it costs to provide
them housing, Mangano believes civic leaders are only coping with
homelessness instead of alleviating it.
Based on the different views, what do you view as the most viable option--managing vs. solving? Why?