You can’t end homelessness. Why should we spend so much money on shelters and keep building apartments for the homeless? Won’t we just make the problem for our city bigger?
These are legitimate questions. So let’s do the math.
We have clients at the House of Charity that can visit the Emergency Room 62 times in one year. That is 62 911 calls. 62 police or ambulance rides. 62 ER visits. And maybe, 62 hospitalizations.
When you add that up, the cost is enormous. It is hundreds of thousands of dollars each year. We can spend that money as a community. Or, we can house an individual in a Catholic Charities Haven with ongoing supportive services for $8,000 per year.
The math is simple. It’s common sense. It’s the best way to serve people. It’s the best thing for the community and the balance sheet.
Housing is a stabilizing factor that is proven to improve health. And while we are building housing, we need a shelter system that provides dignity and connects clients to trained staff, case managers, and resources so they stay in hope and see a pathway to a different life. Shelter, services, and housing are the most cost effective solution.
Together, we are changing the landscape for those experiencing homelessness. Together, we are building a better community for all of us.