The Homeless: Not Ready for Prime Time

Not Ready for Prime Time

Backed by movie stars who slept on iron grates to demonstrate their compassion, and passed overwhelmingly by both houses of Congress, the bill was the first comprehensive effort by the Federal Government to address the plight of the nation's estimated 2 million homeless people. Over the next two years, it will provide $1 billion for emergency shelters, some permanent housing and extra food stamps.

Yet when the measure reached the President's desk last week, he treated it as not ready for prime time. He signed the bill without a complement of aides and legislators crowding around him. Why none of the...