"Homelessness in Denmark and the United States"

Homelessness in Denmark Versus in the United States: A Comparison of the Welfare States From a Catholic Social Tradition Perspective

Cristina Bordeaux '16

International Economics-LLR Major, CST Minor and Constitutional Studies Minor

Advisor: Professor Bill Purcell


Capstone Bordeaux

Using information secured through interviews, articles, and papal encyclicals, I examined homelessness in Denmark and the United States through the lens of Catholic Social Teaching. I did this by studying the policies of these two countries, the public’s respective opinions of the homeless, and how well these opinions reflect the realities of the situations in both countries. Most importantly, I tied in Catholic Social Teaching by observing how well these opinions and policies reflect the guidelines set forth in papal encyclicals, particularly Populorum Progressio, Evangelii Gaudium, and Caritas In Veritate. I also brought in the principles of subsidiarity and the Preferential Option for the Poor.

I compared the two countries to determine ways in which the United States could use Denmark as a case study to develop a more effective strategy of addressing homelessness that better aligns with Catholic Social Teaching. My research suggests that the policies and attitudes of the Danes incorporate many values set forth in Catholic Social Teaching. My research suggests that the United States should integrate aspects of the Danish approach into its policy by enacting the strategies I set forth in my Capstone Project.