A new project will permanently house at least 25 of San Diego's chronically homeless, and the action is expected to save the City of San Diego a substantial amount of money.
Housing First's three-year plan is called Project 25, and it is a collaboration between the United Way of San Diego County, City of San Diego, County of San Diego and the local non-profit sector. It aims to provide shelter to those who consume the most of the area's public resources.
The chronically homeless represent about 24 percent of the county's homeless population and use 50 percent of the available resources, such as shelters, emergency medical and law enforcement services, mental health support and detox services, according to Project 25.
Without adequate shelter, many of the homeless people suffer from physical and mental illness and require constant emergency medical attention.
A recent study found 15 of San Diego’s most frequent public resource users consume $1.5 million in medical services alone over 1.5 years – nearly $100,000 per person.
In Portland, the program brought savings of 59 percent in healthcare, 41 percent in mental healthcare, 62 percent in emergency room care, and 66 percent in ambulance and police services.
Over 8,500 homeless people reside in San Diego.