Step In, Step Up, Step Forward: Housing First, Saving Money, Changing Lives

By: Housing Opportunities, Inc. Last Updated: May 24, 2014

Housing-Opportunities-Step-In-Step-Up-Step-Forward-Housing-First-Saving-Money-Changing-LivesHomelessness continues to plague families in our community. Thanks to friends and supporters of Housing Opportunities we are able to continue our mission to tackle this problem every day. Did you know the number of singles/families, who are chronically homeless, will have more than four episodes of homelessness? Individuals who are experiencing homlessness are usually are usually single moms with children, single males, and individuals with mental illness. They often have experienced a serious traumatic experience that has turned their life upside-down. We would like to invite you to Porter County Coalition for Affordable Housing Fall Education Event to learn more about the Housing First model that Housing Opportunities follows for our permanent supportive housing for the homeless program.

Housing First centers on providing homeless people with housing quickly and then providing services. What differentiates a Housing First approach from other strategies is that there is an immediate and primary focus on helping individuals and families quickly access and sustain permanent housing.

The cost of homelessness can be quite high. Hospitalization, medical treatment, incarceration, police invention, and emergency shelter expenses can add up quickly, making homelessness expensive for municipalities and taxpayers. Individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to access the most costly health care services. Homelessness both causes and results from serious health care issues, including addiction, pyschological disorders, and a host of other ailments that require long-term, consistent care.

Studies have shown that providing the chronically homeless with permanent supportive housing saves taxpayers money. Permanent supportive housing refers to permanent housing coupled with supportive services. A cost study of rural homelessness from Prtland, ME found significant cost reductions when providing permanent supportive housing as opposed to serving the people while they remain homeless. The cost of mental health services was reduced 57% over a six-month period, including a 79% drop in the cost of psychiatric hospitalization. A study from Los Angeles, CA - home to 10% of the entire homeless population - found that placing four chronically homeless people into permanent supportive housing saved the city more that $80,000 per year.

Follow this link to watch a 13-min video from CBS "60 Minutes," documenting the success of the Housing First approach in Nashville, TN.

Join us for a presentation on the Housing First model by Nonie Brennan, CEO of All Chicago, a collaborative partnership of the Chicago Alliance, the Emergency Fund and The Learning Center.
Thursday, Oct 23, 2014, 7:30 - 9:30 a.m.
Buffet Breakfast at Harre Union, Valparaiso University
Please RSVP to Elizabeth Allen with your attendance by 9/15/14
Phone: 312-804-8683

Thank you so much - we hope to see you in October