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Research: Providing Housing for the Homeless Is Cheaper Than Leaving Them Without Places to Live

The news website Vox has looked at the cost of caring for the nation’s homeless and has found evidence that providing houses for the homeless is far cheaper than simply leaving them on the street. The crux of their findings is centered on the amount that local jurisdictions spend on law enforcement and medical issues related to homelessness (mostly “nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks” as well as “emergency room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues”) compared to how much it actually costs to provide them with housing.

They found that in some cases, it’s more than three times cheaper to actually give them a place to live. Between 2005-2012, after the Bush administration pushed for a new “housing first” method of caring for the homeless, America’s rate of homelessness fell by 17 percent. According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the numbers are continuing to drop. The findings seem to indicate that it is not only less expensive to look for housing solutions for homeless individuals, it’s also a more effective solution to help people get off the streets …

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