Paying rent for the homeless is cheaper than putting them in shelters. It sounds wrong, but it isn’t. According to a recent study by the University of California, “managing the problem of homelessness costs far more than ending it.”
For example, the cost of sheltering 15 people for a year and a half in San Diego costs about $3 million. According to an article titled “Room Cheaper Than the Street,” “Putting them up in ocean-view homes with 24-hour concierge service would have cost less.”
I first heard about this idea from Elisha Harag-Blaine, director of the SHIFT Coalition, in Lowell, Massachusetts. They’re trying to reduce the cost of sheltering the homeless by providing help with rent, moving costs, and utility bills. This idea prevents people, and families, from becoming homeless, thus saving the state, and city, millions a year.