Cold weather has finally arrived in Texas. I pulled out the boys’ winter clothes, glad that the yucky, hot, dusty air was finally gone. I am not a cold weather lover, but the heat aggravates my skin ailments.
I’ve never been homeless, but I would probably guess correctly that the homeless persons across the globe don’t like to see the cold weather ushered in as well. This is the time of the year that homeless shelters are overflowing, bringing in the “yuletide diseases” common to cramped, public living in the winter.
Recent studies indicate that the “costs associated with providing housing for individuals and families who are homeless within a program exceeds the Fair Market Rent cost of providing rental assistance without supportive services.” Within this study, there is a simple and beautifully laid out plan to curb the overwhelming costs of homelessness in America that can be used abroad as well. Sadly, most voters see these plans as handouts to belligerent and undeserving bums who need to hurry up and die.
From this aforementioned study, it was ascertained that the average homeless shelter costs American taxpayers $1,391 to $3,700, depending on the city. Homeless shelters are by far the most expensive solution to housing the homeless. A homeless cost study indicates that after an in-depth analysis of homelessness in America, taxpayers could save hundreds of thousands of dollars by simply housing the homeless in transitional, conventional housing.
This is how the study came to that conclusion: When tracking four randomly picked homeless persons, they discovered before placing them in permanent supportive housing that the individuals racked up a large sum of public assistance (tax dollars funded):
- Two of the four had gone through detox six times costing taxpayers $23,382.
- Two of the four had been hospitalized (removal of kidney stone and bladder infection) at a cost of $20,250.
- All four had used the hospital emergency room for health and alcohol issues (19 visits), costing an additional $7,885.
- All four had been arrested at least once ($2,756) and spent time in jail ($8,545).
- One of the four had also served 90 days in prison ($12,060).
Now, consider after placing these four individuals in permanent supportive housing (according to the report):
- None of the four had required medical attention, except for one person who used the emergency room ($830).
- No one went to jail or prison.
- One had a drug and alcohol relapse that cost $6,002.
- Mental health costs went up considerably (from $5,850 to $12,600). However, as they accessed this much needed service, they were stabilized and costs went down over the long-term.
- Medical costs dropped from $26,060 to $830.
- Criminal justice costs plummeted from $23,361 to $0. Zero dollars!
Please view the average monthly costs to house a homeless person in major cities across America here.
Our government figures state that there are at least 1.6 million homeless people receiving shelter. Those four individuals mentioned above, living in the “homeless capital of America” (Los Angeles), cost taxpayers $187,288 before the permanent housing. Now, they only cost taxpayers $107,032. While this is still a big chunk of change, there are also huge savings here. Hopefully, these former homeless persons will be able to be completely independent of public assistance.
Right now, there are 1 million homeless children in America. How could this be? Simple. Bickering politicians and stagnate, non-compassionate voters. No one cares unless it’s their problem. If the crappy economy is any indication, it will all be our problem sooner or later.
Some brave volunteers recently put together a scholarship fund awarding 1,000 scholarships to students who have survived homelessness and were genuinely interested in going to college. These scholarships were worth $20,000 each.
Though it just scratches at the surface of the humongous homeless melting pot in America, it went to some deserving kids who needed it in the worst of times. Hopefully, someone in Washington can get off their can and make some headway with the homeless (and economic) crisis in America. The elections are over, time to get back to work!
Please, Washington politicians, don’t send the homeless on a one-way plane trip out of your city so they can be someone else’s problem!