Housing Chronic Homeless May Save City Millions

Project 25 announces success after first year of program

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    Housing a handful of San Diego's chronically homeless may have saved taxpayers more than $7 million.

    Results from Project 25's "Home Again" were released Tuesday after being reviewed by Point Loma's Fermanian Business and Economic Institute.

    The initiative housed 30 homeless people in San Diego who were estimated to be costing taxpayers over $11 million in public resources, according to data from the project.

    The participants on average absorbed nearly $318,000 before entering the program, estimated in emergency room visits, ambulance transports, in-patient medical stays, arrests and jail days. Those who enrolled were often disabled and continuously homeless for over a year.

    After almost a year of being in the program, analysts estimated that the cost of supporting the average participant was about $97,400.

    Overall, the project resulted in a nearly 70 percent reduction in costs to taxpayers, the analysts said.

    "Lately what we found out is unless you get people into some form of permanent housing they are going to end up back on the streets," said Father Joe Carroll in a previous article about the project.

    A recent survey of San Diego County’s streets found an increase of almost 800 homeless people either living with or without shelter compared to last year. This made for a total of approximately 9,800 homeless individuals.

    Home Again is funded and facilitated by the nonprofit organization United Way of San Diego County. 

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