Housing project for hard-core homeless pays off
A study of homeless adults housed by L.A. County's Project 50 suggests providing permanent housing to vulnerable populations saves local governments money.
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Maybe I am wrong but I think this is a fraction of what Union Rescue Mission spends in a month.
More than 51,000 people are homeless on any given night in the county, according to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority. About a quarter of them are considered chronically homeless, meaning they have been homeless for at least a year and suffer from a serious physical, mental or substance abuse problem. LAHSA. Where they come up with these numbers is a mystery to me. I have seen their reports, facts and figures in the past. They must have use some sort of random number generator with a ceiling on a maximum number that generates the count.
How about a suggestion for you LAHSA folks? Spend 30 days living on the street. You too will have series physical, mental and perhaps substance abuse problems. It does not take a year.
Think about the mental state of a family who has lost their home due to the economy who are still fortunate enough to live in their car. Not quite on the street yet but when the car is sold they will be. You don't think a parent or parents who provided for their family for years has mental issues now?
Yet .... you folks picked the 50 least capable people to provide housing. People who have learned to live on the street. Why did you not help some of these families with a history of a good work ethic before their children developed mental images and memories that will last a lifetime?
Project 50 was controversial because it did not require people to get sober before they were housed. But advocates of the so-called housing-first approach say a permanent roof provides the stability chronically homeless people need to get their lives back on track. Controversial? I could not have come up with a more stupid plan if I had a committee of PhD graduates from any area of the social sciences.
The project, championed by Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, began in late 2007 with the goal of finding and housing the 50 most vulnerable, long-term homeless living on the streets of skid row in downtown Los Angeles. Since then, the number of participants has grown to 133, of whom 94 remain housed, seven are incarcerated, 12 have died and 20 left the program. How about some data here? 133? Was more housing supplied or are some of the original participants now subletting some of their own space to others? I don't believe these sorts of facts if there is no supporting information. 12 have died? Who is now living where they were living? How were these new people chosen?
20 left the program. Somewhere in this piece I eluded or mentioned that some folks have adopted and prefer a life on the street. If you pick the 50 most "homeless" folks for the program and 20 drop out of the program it seems as if my point is proven. 20/50. 40% failure rate and that is ONLY those who left the program.
These numbers confuse me. Looking at the original 50 and not the others you have seem to have added to the program.... 7 are in jail. 12 have died. 20 have left the program. 39 out of 50 or a 78% failure rate.
Seems I am missing some point here. I guess the point is this program saved $238,700 in two years. The closer one looks the less impressive are even the program numbers. That is less than $120,000 "saved" per year. The article also states "net savings". What are net savings? Is that like the adjusted unemployment figures that show less than half of the people who are actually out of work?
"My notion was that front-end investment in social services and stable housing would not only prove to be vastly more humane, but less costly for the public treasury," Yaroslavsky said in an email. "This audit makes the case for accelerating the county's efforts to house the chronically homeless and provide them with the critical social services they need." OK. I am not a professional reporter or professional writer and at times I can get emotional. My comment to the above paragraph....
More than 130 communities across the country have launched similar initiatives, according to the 100,000 Homes Campaign, which aims to permanently house 100,000 homeless people by July 2014. Together, those programs have housed 16,944 people, including 1,664 in Los Angeles County, according to figures collected by the group.
After years of debate about the approach, the Board of Supervisors in 2011 endorsed a plan submitted by business leaders that makes it a priority to provide the chronically homeless with permanent housing and support services. The county's Interdepartmental Council on Homelessness is now considering strategies to address homelessness among other populations, including youths, veterans and families.
It is difficult for me to pay attention to this story.
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