Row grew to be the center of attention because of the increasing homeless
population. Fewer and fewer men rode the rails, and even within cities many
of the homeless never left a bounded geographic area. By the 1940s technological
changes had massively reduced the demand for unskilled labor. As a result,
the hobo and the tramp were gradually disappearing.
interaction of several local factors, including housing regulations and
the availability of public and low-rent housing, zoning, and work programs,
are at play in any given situation. These local issues along with the
obliteration of skid-row regions and single room occupancy living units
in the 1960s and 1970s caused "hidden" street people to become
vastly visible. In 1987, the McKinney Homeless Assistance Act appropriated
money to provide some housing for the homeless, subsidies for existing
shelters, and subsidies for a variety of rehabilitation programs.
The new homeless were no longer concentrated in Skid Row (Rossi 390). In 1978, decorative benches and seats were removed from some outdoor and indoor locations to curb their use as bedrooms, and public bathrooms were being locked in many cities. Street homelessness formed the heart of the new homeless population.