Homeless: Helter-Skelter Shelter

It was the Pentagon's own idea: empty military buildings could be transformed into shelters for the homeless. Congress happily budgeted $8 million. But even the best-laid plans can get caught in red tape. At a House hearing on the homeless last week, Paul Wright of the General Accounting Office, Congress's audit agency, said most of the money had been spent on routine base maintenance. "What the Defense Department did was to rob the poor box," said Democratic Congressman Ted Weiss of New York.

The Army, Air Force and Coast Guard had offered the use of vacant defense facilities to more...

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