The evidence is mounting.
In city after city where the research is complete, we now know that providing homeless persons permanent supportive housing is no more expensive, and in most cities it is less expensive to the public, than allowing people to remain on the streets.
The National Alliance to End Homelessness provides examples of this research. Here's the explanation of one batch of research posted on the organization's website:
The Homelessness Research Institute used the results of several studies (cited below) of expenditure reductions through permanent supportive housing to create an interactive stacked bar chart that illustrates the relative costs of permanent supportive housing and homelessness (prior to supportive housing) in four cities (Portland, ME; New York, NY; Portland, OR, and Denver, CO) and one state (Rhode Island). The chart illustrates the fact that the cost of permanent supportive housing is offset in most instances by reductions in emergency shelter costs and health care (physical and behavioral) costs.
To view the revealing data click here.
Providing housing is not only the right thing to do, it is smart public policy as well.