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Abstract: This case about the regulation of nonprofit social service organizations focuses on the unusual decision of the Hartford (Connecticut) City Council: to impose a moratorium on the establishment of new social service nonprofit organizations--such as homeless shelters and drug treatment centers--in the center city, where such uses had greatly proliferated in the 1980s and 1990s.
Learning Objective: The case allows for discussion of urban policy: Is it better to serve a city's poor population or take steps meant to limit service "magnets" which might attract the poor? Is it government's job to serve citizens or attempt to upgrade neighborhoods? The case also allows for a broader, nonprofit policy discussion of the limits and dimensions of public regulation of non-governmental organizations, a discussion complicated by the public funds which support organizations such as those in Hartford.