Why Housing First matters (It’s about People!):
Please view our presentation at the end of this blog post!
Chronic homelessness incurs high costs for communities because individuals experiencing homelessness are frequent users of community services. Consequently, chronic homelessness can be a major strain on local community budgets. The biggest costs to communities are health care expenses, because of frequent and avoidable inpatient hospitalizations, and visits to emergency rooms, detoxification centers, and nursing homes. Other high costs are associated with the criminal justice system.
Figure 1: Public Cost of Services for Homeless Individuals (2004-2009)
Each community gets different results & has different cost structures for these items – what are Savannah;s you ask – we’ll find out, together!
What Housing First accomplishes:
The most effective type of supportive housing uses the Housing First approach, which seeks to screen in rather than screen out individuals with substance abuse and mental illness. Often, people with these conditions are not eligible to receive housing assistance from other programs, many of which require clients to be free of drugs and alcohol. Housing First seeks to move these hard-to-house individuals into permanent housing quickly and then to provide them with the support services they need to achieve and maintain housing stability. As “Opening Doors” highlights, the research is clear that PSH using a Housing First approach is the best solution for individuals experiencing chronic homelessness—and it is the most cost-effective solution for states and communities. Compared with repeated use of emergency services and jails, there is no question that PSH is the better option.
What’s an example of savings you ask:
Source: a report on Housing First, a study for Indiana Housing & Community Development Authority
And those savings are documented across multiple environments & states:
Figure 2: Cost of Serving the Homeless Declines in Permanent Supportive Housing (2005-2008)
How PSH (Permanent Supportive Housing) becomes Housing First:
It takes a change in focus, understanding & compassion. It’s also the right thing to do for taxpayers! Graphs above show the relative value of Housing First & PSH!
Why Housing First Works:
This change in mindset translates to showing the love & compassion of a community towards those who can’t seem to fit the mold (one size doesn’t fit all!).
Taxpayer savings are nice too! Innovative approaches are needed however to get even more value from Housing First & PSH models for the taxpayer & community in today’s climate!
It’s about People:
Hear what one program director & participants have to say about their program & the difference it’s made in their lives both as service providers & program participants!
Review the SAMSHA Analysis of the Housing Fist Model which says “Housing First Works“!
The Housing First Savannah approach:
The Savannah Model is an adaptation of these approaches! It focuses on not using Federal dollars or HUD Vouchers as we believe we have a much more innovative approach & model.
It’s time for innovation in the Housing First model to take into account our fiscal situation as a nation & community! We do not seek government dollars as we believe it’s the responsibility of the entire community to address its homelessness issues.
View our Executive Summary on Housing First Savannah’s website!
Let’s get the discussion going & then do a proof of concept, pilot or just get it rolling!
Comments, feedback & engagement welcome:
- Engage with the Faith Community Taskforce as they develop a Response to Homelessness
- Become a Partner in Housing First Savannah
- Learn more about the housing development model that will create jobs & a new industry for Savannah
- Other jobs initiatives are underway within the services component for Housing First Savannah, see an example in a linked post we recently did (link below)
- See why & how this approach to Housing First (communities of restoration & recovery) can work for all populations of homelessness: chronic, veterans, family, women & children, prison re-entry, mental health, domestic violence, … (each served uniquely with projects & communities focused on each population)
- View a presentation recently given at the Chatham Safety Net Council monthly meeting (link to presentation posting below)
- Become part of the next Strategic Plan (Ten Year Plan) process – this should be done “with” the community not “for” us, it’s not a black box approach to end homelessness, there’s also a lot to learn & apply new innovative solutions that have worked elsewhere – why not in Savannah you ask? A topic for another blog post or two! 🙂
Our Housing First presentation with more justifications & background on why housing first for Savannah, how to get there & a vision for Savannah’s approach to Housing First!
- Have you wondered how to get our homeless working again? | Jobs can come with (or after) Housing First! (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- Are you ready to: Restart your Compassion And Justice? | compliments of: YouVersion, the Bible App – Featured Reading Plans (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)
- A Presentation on Housing First, saving healthcare dollars & more for taxpayers in Savannah! (homelessnessinsavannah.wordpress.com)