Should Background Checks Be Used at Homeless Shelters?

Posted by Kristina Taylor
April 22, 2010

Should Background Checks Be Used at Homeless Shelters?

A recent editorial from the Northwest Herald (Illinois) caught our eye.

In the piece, editor Kevin Lyons makes a good case for homeless shelters to require those receiving long-term assistance to undergo background checks to ensure the safety of the other homeless persons.  Basically, these types of background checks would screen out the more violent individuals, leading to a more secure experience and environment for the rest of the people at the shelters (including volunteers.)

It’s an interesting concept and one that could have many merits.  Obviously, it would have to be studied to find out how background checks could easily be run on people who may not be willing to give their real names (or may not have or know their social security numbers.)

What do you think?  Would background checks allow community homeless shelters to better serve their target populations?

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