It’s an easy concept:
The study, which was commissioned by LA County in 2014, finds that the county’s Housing for Health program, which launched in 2012 and provides supportive housing and medical services to homeless residents, has reduced the reliance of participants on county medical and mental health services. Once stably housed, people involved in the program made less trips to the emergency room, spent less time in the hospital, and were arrested less frequently.
The financial impact of the program could be dramatic, according to the report, which analyzed the experiences of 890 participants. The cost of services provided to those in the program fell by 60 percent in the year after they found permanent housing (from an average of $38,146 in the year before to $15,358 the next year).
That drop is partially offset by the cost of operating the program (participants receive $825 per month housing vouchers and case management services worth about $450 per month). But, even with those costs factored in, the study found a 20 percent decrease in county expenses related to those residents.
It’s the right thing to do and it saves money. Let’s do this nationwide.