Across America, homelessness is a large problem. Several states have put laws in place that aim to keep homeless people from begging, sleeping in public, or loitering. At the same time states have set up several state sponsored services that are supposed to help homeless people back on their feet. While these may seem like good ideas that would decrease homelessness, statistics have shown us that they really aren’t. These policies don’t help homeless people become less homeless, they simply get them off the streets and out of sight for a short while.
In 2005 Utah decided to look outside of their silo and see what they could do differently. They came up with a fairly simple solution: give homeless people homes. While this may seem crazy and expensive, it has actually turned out to be cheaper than offering traditional government aid. Homeless people who are given a home ended up using less government resources and many of them actually get on their feet. Since enacting the program Utah’s chronic homeless population has decreased from 2000 people to only 300.
The article below talks more about just how much money this program has saved Utah and why they have found it to be so effective.