Saturday, June 07, 2014

If homeless people had a safe place to live,
taxpayers could save millions

In a world where money talks, evidence that putting a roof over someone's head is a boon to city budgets could be the incentive cities need to build housing for the homeless.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte's Department of Social Work have found that housing constructed specifically for homeless people saved the city millions.

Providing housing at an 85-unit facility called Moore Place resulted in 447 fewer visits to emergency rooms and 372 fewer days spent in hospitals. That alone saved the city $1.8 million -- which makes plenty of sense. When people aren't exposed to danger from criminals or animals, and they don't get sick from sleeping in a doorway on a cold night, they're bound to be healthier.

Law enforcement costs were also reduced. Providing housing to Moore Place residents resulted in an incredible "78 percent drop in arrests and 84 percent fewer days spent in jail."

Although other housing facilities often require tenants to be sober before moving in, Moore Place is grounded in the "housing first" concept. The idea is that individuals with mental health or addiction issues are more likely to be able to deal with those issues if they have a stable home base.

Read the Christian Science Monitor report here.


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