Housing the Homeless Saves Lives

Housing First Saves Lives
Cheaper Than Doing Nothing

Housing the Homeless Saves LivesKathleen Miles has written a March 25, 2014 piece, “Housing the Homeless not Only Saves Lives –It’s Actually Cheaper Than Doing Nothing” for the Huffington Post.

She uses data from a recent University of North Carolina Charlotte study supports previous research finding that supportive housing is cost effective.

The study examined the lives of the 85 residents of the Moore Place development and found that in their first year of occupancy, tenants:

  • Saved $1.8 million in health care costs,
  • Made 447 fewer emergency room visits (a 78% reduction),
  • Spent 372 less days in the hospital (a 79% reduction),
  • Spent 84% fewer days in jail, and
  • Saw a 78% drop in arrests.

The article quotes Caroline Chambre, the Director of Urban Ministry Centers Housing Works which sponsored the development,

“Charlotte also has several large shelters with very robust front doors. But you have to also have a back door — a way for people to escape homelessness. Shelters are overcrowded, with people living there for years, which defeats the purpose of emergency shelters.”

Chambre makes the case for supportive housing as a more permanent solution.

Thank you to Carmel Galasso from the United Way of Hudson County for sharing this article with us!

Click here for Miles’ full blog post

Click here for more information about the study.