Supportive Housing Ends Chronic Homelessness

Costs studies document savings from ending homelessness

NAEHIn an August 15, 2011 post, the National Alliance to End Homelessness featured case studies highlighting how permanent supportive housing including the Housing First Model has decreased chronic homelessness in Seattle, Los Angeles, and Portland and rural Maine.

From 2005 to 2008, chronic homelessness in the country decreased approximately 28 percent.

Similar accomplishments have been achieved in NJ.

Catherine An, the author stated:

While the cost of incarceration, institutionalization, hospitalization, etc. vary from state to state, many cost studies have found that providing chronically homeless people permanent supportive housing is more cost-effective than incarcerating, institutionalizing, hospitalizing, etc. them.

The Seattle, WA study in 2009 focused on a Housing First facility in Seattle, WA serving chronically homeless people with severe alcohol problems who had previously incurred multiple and expensive mental health care and medical costs.

The Los Angeles, CA study in 2009 found that the total cost of public services spent on four individuals over two years on the streets was $187,288. When they moved into supportive housing the cost dropped to $107,032.

The Portland, ME study in 2009 provided an opportunity to review the current permanent supportive housing options in Maine as well as to examine the cost of permanent supportive housing as compared to the cost of a life lived in homelessness. This study focused on both urban and rural areas of Maine.

Click here to read the entire blog post which includes statistics from each local community.