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United Way Homeless Study Exposes Cost of Living on Streets in Los Angeles
Date:10/13/2009

LOS ANGELES, Oct. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- United Way of Greater Los Angeles today unveiled findings from its Homeless Cost Study, uncovering the financial implications of living on the streets in Los Angeles and the social and economic benefits of permanent supportive housing programs. Conducted by researchers at the University of Southern California's Center for Community Health Studies at the Keck School of Medicine and Housing Works, the qualitative study profiles four previously-homeless individuals who have now been placed in a supportive housing environment. The study shows tremendous savings to the average taxpayer, in addition to individual and community benefits by placing chronically homeless people into permanent supportive housing.

"With more people living on the streets in Los Angeles than any other city in the nation, we cannot continue to ignore the growing chronically homeless issue, which is crowding our health and criminal justice systems and impacting the strength of our community. Our goal is to prove there is a better way, and facilitate change," said Elise Buik, president and CEO of United Way of Greater Los Angeles. "We must change our attitudes towards the homeless, many of which are families and veterans, and move swiftly to impact the system so we can get them into life-changing environments."

Profiling C.N., a 52 year-old White female; D.B., a 58 year-old White male; J.S., a 32 year-old Hispanic male; and J.W., a 61 year-old African American male, the study takes into account five principal cost areas, including substance abuse, physical health, mental health, criminal justice and housing. Combining costs associated with these five areas, the study finds that that the total cost to provide public services for two years was over $80,000 greater than with permanent housing with support services, representing a nearly 43% savings for taxpayers when permanent housing solutions are used. What's mo
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SOURCE United Way of Greater Los Angeles
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