Presentation on theme: "Homelessness: Next Steps Dr. Dan Gerlowski If you have not done so you are encouraged to read “Million Dollar Murray” by Malcolm Gladwell. It is available."— Presentation transcript:
Homelessness: Next Steps Dr. Dan Gerlowski If you have not done so you are encouraged to read “Million Dollar Murray” by Malcolm Gladwell. It is available at: http://gladwell.com/million-dollar-murray/
What are the Costs to Society of Homelessness? If the homeless would contribute to economy/society but for the fact that they are homeless, then there is an opportunity cost to the homeless. For some individuals who are not homeless, there is a loss in utility, or welfare, in simply knowing there are some homeless in society. More can be learned by considering the causes and correlates of homelessness.
Homeless Causes/Correlates? The list of factors associated with being homeless is vast, some common “groups” of factors include Economic Mental health Substance Abuse Domestic Violence Other things The underlying problem is that we don’t know if homelessness causes those things/ or if those things cause homeless / or if they are simultaneously determined. The situation is more complex because of the “types” of homelessness Shorter term emergency Shorter term extended Longer term – “Chronic” – an official definition.
What did we learn from Million Dollar Murray? ? We learned that Murray suffered from many “ills” Clearly he was an alcoholic and had been in and out of treatment. We learned that a small percentage of the “homeless” are responsible for a very large percentage of the costs of treating homeless people Sheltering costs Medical costs Costs for police and medical services. We also learned that sometimes when people are given housing that they can afford, some of the other “ills” disappear – not for all but for some. This is the argument for “Housing First” This is the “current thinking” and has focused attention on the “hows” and the “whys”
What are the costs and benefits in treating the homeless In Utah the argument is made that medical and police service costs for homeless are $16,670 per person while it costs about $11,000 per person for a home. Program in Utah http://www.nationofchange.org/utah-ending- homelessness-giving-people-homes-1390056183 - Housing Works Program.http://www.nationofchange.org/utah-ending- homelessness-giving-people-homes-1390056183 Video report on program in Utah http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbBp1yMU7lE http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IbBp1yMU7lE Utah Report October 2013 http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56983937-90/according-chronic- chronically-families.html.csp reports homelessness increasing but not chronic homelessness. http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/politics/56983937-90/according-chronic- chronically-families.html.csp Official Report Homelessness in Utah 2013 http://jobs.utah.gov/housing/documents/homelessness2013.pdf http://jobs.utah.gov/housing/documents/homelessness2013.pdf Estimates vary widely Very good, unbiased source http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/cost_of_homelessness http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/cost_of_homelessness Almost as good, but somewhat less than objective source http://greendoors.org/facts/cost.php http://greendoors.org/facts/cost.php
What are the costs and benefits in treating the homeless (2) There is more and more high quality scholarly research on the costs of homelessness New England Journal of Medicine (1989). http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199806113382406#t=citedb y http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199806113382406#t=citedb y There is a very readable study in Los Angeles at http://usich.gov/usich_resources/research/where_we_sleep_costs_when _homeless_and_housed_in_los_angeles/ http://usich.gov/usich_resources/research/where_we_sleep_costs_when _homeless_and_housed_in_los_angeles/ And a more recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA 2009 http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090505162437.htm These studies estimate and provide a way to estimate the costs of serving the homeless.
The Entrepreneurial Problem Given the costs of homelessness, is there a role for entrepreneurs to solve the problem? Some of the studies identified private, philanthropic efforts, were these entrepreneurial? If you were to think about a “pitch” for funding from government and other sources, what would the characteristics of that pitch be?