A Utah town's solution to homelessness is so good, every state will be mad that they weren't first.
It saves money. Its saves lives. Let's do it. EVERYWHERE.
Everyone, meet the housing-first model, a delightfully simple solution to homelessness.
It's exactly like it sounds. To find a solution to homelessness, the delightful folks of Salt Lake City ... put housing first.
That means giving homeless people homes. It's a delightfully obvious choice, right?
"Instead of asking people to change their lives before we gave them housing, we chose to give them housing along with the supportive services and then allow them to change their lives if the wanted to." — Gordon Walker, Director of Housing and Community Development in Salt Lake City
BUT. But. But. If it's so obvious, why isn't everyone doing it????
I really don't know.
Because, consider this math.
The housing-first model WORKS. BIG TIME.
Keeping homeless people on the street costs the government $20,000 per person.
It costs the government $7,800 per person to give them a house and some support, such as case management services.
That's $12,200 saved per person with the housing-first model.
And the end result?
72% decrease in homelessness.
And those numbers are backed up by research. For specific numbers, this report from The National Alliance to End Homelessness does a great job — it's where the report for the Utah program got their numbers.
It just makes so much delightful sense.
If you're as into this smart idea as much as I am, I have an idea.
If you feel like sharing this, ALSO tag your hometown mayors, senators, and representatives when you do. It's easy to find who they are at OpenCongress, then just tag away and BOOM — it's like tapping them on the shoulder to remind them to care!