In order to move from managing homelessness to ending it, Mangano recognized the need for his agency to get rid of the old strategies. Under President Clinton, funding was tripled for programs to decrease homelessness, but the number of homeless only increased. “We had been busy servicing homeless people,” Mangano says, “spending more money without any results.”
So when he was appointed by President Bush to lead the council in 2002, Mangano and his team implemented an approach to homelessness that was entirely appropriate for the administration of the first president with an MBA. “For many years,” Mangano says, “the issue of homelessness was driven by anecdote, conjecture, guess work and feeling.” But with Mangano at the helm, the touchy-feelyness was replaced by a results-oriented business approach rooted in evidence and data.
And, predictably, the evidence showed that moving chronically homeless people into housing units was the only reliable way to end chronic homelessness.