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Cost of Homelessness in Santa Clara County Detailed in New Report, Highlights How Housing First Policies Help the Homeless and Save Taxpayer Dollars

Annual Cost Tops $520 Million

May 27, 2015
The San Jose Mercury News on May 26 published an article on a report released Tuesday estimating that Santa Clara County spent over $3 billion on the county’s homeless population between 2007 and 2012.
 
This is an annual price tag of $520 million.

Produced by the Economic Roundtable for the county and Destination: Home, “Home Not Found: the Cost of Homelessness in Silicon Valley” used a variety of sources to tabulate how much the county spends on the more than 104,000 homeless in the county during the six years studied. This included services such as mental health care, emergency room visits and county jail time.

Making housing the homeless a priority best serves homeless individuals and the larger community. Economic Roundtable President Dan Flaming is quoted as saying “What this shows is that having people live out in the open is tragic for the individual, destabilizing for the community and, at the end of the day, very expensive for the public. The people who are the most tragic are the ones where there can be real cost savings simply by housing them." The article also states: “Helping people off the streets is more than just doing the right thing, it’s also smart public policy that will save taxpayer dollars.”
 


 
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