Cost of Chronic Homelessness $31K

At $10,000 Supportive Housing
Provides Cost Effective Solution

Homeless in Florida

Randall Wooten and Samantha Barr fell into homelessness after baby Cheyenne underwent several surgeries in the first year of her life and the bills piled up. (Judy Watson Tracy, OS Stringer)

An Orlando Sentinel article, “Cost of Homelessness in Central FL? $31 K Per Person,” shares the findings of a recent study by Creative Housing Solutions.

The study tracked the public expenses that 107 individuals in three Central Florida counties racked over the course of the year and found that on average, taxpayers spent $31,065 caring for them. This amount can be contrasted to the $10,051 that it costs to house a formerly chronically homeless individual in permanent supportive housing.

“’The numbers are stunning. Our community will spend nearly half a billion dollars [on the chronically homeless], and at the end of the decade, these people will still be homeless. It doesn’t make moral sense, and now we know it doesn’t make financial sense.’”

Said the homeless commission’s CEO, Andrae Bailey.

And the $31,065 in expenses only includes public services such as costs associated with law enforcement, jail stays, emergency room visits and hospital stays and does not include the costs that nonprofit organizations incur in housing, feeding and clothing the homeless..

“Housing even half of the region’s chronically homeless population would save taxpayers $149 million during the next decade — even allowing for 10 percent to end up back on the streets again.”

Said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer who has made a public commitment to reduce the city’s chronically homeless street population by a third.

The cost of doing nothing to help the homeless in NJ costs as much if not more. When will we commit to ending homelessness in the Garden State?

Click here for the full article.

Click here for a related Huffington Post article.