The Economics of Homelessness (AKA “How Much Does Homelessness Cost?”)

When speaking to groups about what we do, and how the Continuum of Care for the Homeless operates, we explain
how $48 million a year supports local homeless services. That part is easy enough to explain. But if we are going to solve homelessness in Greater Cincinnati, we also have to dive into how much homeless services cost per person. By examining outcomes data from various programs, and the average individual cost of those programs and the number
of people receiving those services, we get a better sense of which homeless services are the most cost-effective.

The benefit of having a coordinated homeless service system in Hamilton County is that we can maximize resources,
measure progress, and implement outcomes-driven strategies to end homelessness in our community. Using data
from our Homelessness Management Information System (HMIS) we come to know the following figures are true:

  1. Prevention costs approximately $1,250 per person
  2. Emergency Shelter costs approximately $1,700 per person
  3. The system-wide cost person, on average, is approximately $4,400

As we can see, prevention is not only the least expensive, it is also the most efficient and cost-effective means of ending homelessness. By using outcomes data to ensure the effectiveness of our programs, we are able to maximize the impact of funding we oversee from various sources.

Click to visit original source at Strategies to End Homelessness (.org)

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