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Tasks of public administration in the field of providing help to homeless people in the Second Polish Republic


Cendrowicz, Dominika



Subject and Keywords:

public administration ; local self-government ; public tasks ; interwar period ; Second Polish Republic (1918-1939) ; homelessness ; homeless people ; housing exclusion


The article describes the legal aspects of providing help to homeless people by public administration in the Second Polish Republic. Homelessness in the interwar period in Poland had taken on particularly worrying dimensions and was not only the result of war damages from the years 1914‒1918, but also of many social problems which had been accumulating throughout the whole interwar period. Despite all these difficulties, the Polish state made a great effort in order to establish the legal system of social assistance which focused on helping the homeless. However, the Social Assistance Act of August 16, 1923, differentiated homeless people into two categories. In the first category were homeless who deserved help from the state and its administration. In the second group were those named “beggars” and “vagrants” who, as it was thought, didn’t deserve help and in respect of whom repressive measures were taken. Despite many shortcomings of the social assistance system of that time, it was based on the principle of subsidiarity which is worth mentioning here. The basic subject obliged to provide help to the homeless in the Second Republic of Poland was a commune. It was also noticed then that poor housing conditions result in homelessness. The continuity of the system of social assistance from the interwar period was interrupted when World War II broke out. It was then thwarted in the People’s Republic of Poland which was a time when the problem of homeless was hidden and state administration was not concerned with it.

Place of publishing:



Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego


Korczak, Jerzy. Red.

Date issued:


Date copyrighted:



ISSN 0524-4544 ; ISSN 0239-6661




PAd P 101182 II


pol ; eng


Acta Universitatis Wratislaviensis, ISSN 0239-6661, No 3888. Prawo, ISSN 0524-4544, 2019, 327, s. 39-54

Is version of:

Czasopisma Naukowe w Sieci (CNS)

Autor opisu:

WR U/PAdbg