A Novel Approach: Ending Homelessness with Homes

| 7/16/2009 3:12:47 PM

Homeless with Bike

The Dallas City Council thinks it has a strategy for ending homelessness in the city, and it's fabulously uncomplicated: housing for the homeless. Not shelters, but actual apartments. Next American City reports:

According to the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, it costs more to maintain someone in homelessness than to offer permanent shelter. The group's study of 65 cities found that support services like hospitals, courts and police intervention cost between $35,000 and $150,000 per person per year. Providing housing runs between $13,000 and $25,000.

So Dallas has approved "a multimillion-dollar plan to provide 700 housing units over five years as permanent shelters throughout the city for the homelessness." The price tag for the plan could be as high as $18 million.

A recent study focusing soley on medical care for the homeless found hospitals that reach out to help homeless people before they pass through emergency room doors can save hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

There's a pattern here. All roads lead to giving a damn.

Michael Rogers
7/27/2009 11:08:14 AM

This is similar to the concept of sending maladjusted people to prison. It does little to enable them to learn better coping skills and attitudes and puts them in an environment that fosters and rewards increased maladaptivity. It would cost no more, and probably less to provide remediation for those who demonstrate the need for it. This could also involve non punitive mandatory housing for those that demonstrate the likelihood of not being able to properly behave in the greater society. I'm frankly AMAZED that such a forward thinking concept of actually helping the homeless came from Texass, Such a concept in the past would have come from California and been vilified by the rest of the nation, especially Texas and the like! Michael Rogers

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