Question:

What is the most effective method of dealing with homeless people you have heard of?

by TQ  |  4 years, 7 month(s) ago

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What is the most effective method of dealing with homeless people you have heard of?

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  1. Victor Strong

     I recently read an incredible piece in the New Yorker about the state of Utah's Housing First program. In 2005 they launched a pilot program to help their 2,000 or so chronically homeless. In a completely unorthodox experiment, the state gave homeless individuals, many of whom have substance abuse and mental health issues their own homes.


    Rather than enabling bad habits, it turns out the gift of a permanent and stable living environment had therapeutic effects. In fact, among the 17 members of the pilot program exactly zero ended up back on the streets in 22 months or thereafter. Not one.


    Over the years since, the state's homeless rate has dropped 74% and has saved them millions of dollars in the costs of halfway homes, treatment facilities and EMS services. This has allowed them to reduce the cost to help a homeless person from $20,000 a year to just $8,000 by way of housing them permanently including support and treatment thereafter.


    To answer your question, this is far and away the most effective way to deal with homelessness. Similar programs have shown similar results across other states as well as in Brazil and Mexico.


    The article is a great read:


    http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2014/09/22/home-free

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