Following up on my previous post about the million dollars spent not housing Murray, here’s an article on what Utah is doing to end homelessness. One key finding:
In 2005, Utah figured out that the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker. So, the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached.
We have every reason to believe these findings hold true nation-wide. For example, locally in Kansas City, ReDiscover’s hospital diversion program has saved approximately $13.7 million in medical costs with an $800,000 up-front investment in just 18 months. The state of Missouri is implementing it state-wide, and it’s easy to understand why, whether your motivation is helping people, saving money, or both.
Are these articles true to your experience? And if so, what data would help your community move toward ending homelessness by housing people first?