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The homeless community is diverse, and the causes of homelessness are complex. As part of a Symposium entitled, "Representing the Poor and Homeless: Innovations in Advocacy Tackling Homelessness through Economic Self-sufficiency," the author discusses the challenges faced by those who attempt to address the needs of homeless people. This essay focuses on policies and innovations in income creation for homeless people. The author advocates for integrated approaches to homelessness prevention and policies that combine housing, income, and social services. In this regard, the author explores economic self-sufficiency through such innovations as microenterprise development, a rapidly growing and innovative strategy in advocacy for the poor, homeless and other persons in need such as dislocated workers and domestic violence survivors. The author also examines innovative job training in the context of supportive housing and/or supportive services and public policy incentives such as tax credits to sustain homelessness advocacy. Finally, the author concludes that an economic self-sufficiency strategy such as microenterprise development is as valuable for homeless people as it is for others when coupled with housing and other supportive services.

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GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 336; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 336

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