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Study Reveals It Costs Less to Give the Homeless Housing Than to Leave Them on the Street

“According to the UNCC study, housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.
What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.”
The cost of NOT housing homeless people is exorbitant — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs. This pilot program (rent for housing at Moore Place) is paid for 30% by tenant benefits (welfare, etc) and an additional $14k per person per year (comes from federal funding and donations). We are looking at more than $25k cheaper to house a homeless person per year than to leave them on the streets.
Moral legitimacy of this aside, economics supports providing more transitional/homeless housing.

Study Reveals It Costs Less to Give the Homeless Housing Than to Leave Them on the Street

@thetomzone 

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Redefining Mental Illness

This is a radically different vision of severe mental illness from the one held by most Americans, and indeed many American psychiatrists. …. Moreover, the perspective is surprisingly consonant — in some ways — with the new approach by our own National Institute of Mental Health, which funds much of the research on mental illness in this country. For decades, American psychiatric science took diagnosis to be fundamental. These categories — depression, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder — were assumed to represent biologically distinct diseases, and the goal of the research was to figure out the biology of the disease.

That didn’t pan out. In 2013, the institute’s director, Thomas R. Insel, announced that psychiatric science had failed to find unique biological mechanisms associated with specific diagnoses. What genetic underpinnings or neural circuits they had identified were mostly common across diagnostic groups. Diagnoses were neither particularly useful nor accurate for understanding the brain, and would no longer be used to guide research.

And so the institute has begun one of the most interesting and radical experiments in scientific research in years. It jettisoned a decades-long tradition of diagnosis-driven research, in which a scientist became, for example, a schizophrenia researcher. Under a program called Research Domain Criteria, all research must begin from a matrix of neuroscientific structures (genes, cells, circuits) that cut across behavioral, cognitive and social domains (acute fear, loss, arousal). To use an example from the program’s website, psychiatric researchers will no longer study people with anxiety; they will study fear circuitry.

Read more…
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/01/18/opinion/sunday/t-m-luhrmann-redefining-mental-illness.html

"erin umberg." erin umberg went to stanford and west point. Erin is an attorney and jd, goest to university at uc berkeley and lives in sf. erin umberg her father is tom umberg.