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saving public dollars

HSI programs serve the most vulnerable populations with serious mental illness, chemical dependency and chronic illnesses. Compared with other very low-income people, these men and women disproportionately use shelters, emergency health care and public mental health services - cycling rapidly through these institutions - at great cost to taxpayers.

the cost of doing nothing


  • The cost of a single night in a shelter in NYC: $77

  • the cost per night to imprison someone in jail: $165

  • the cost per day of inpatient care in a local hospital: $1,954

the cost of providing a permanent home

  • ​$38.23 per night for permanent supportive housing at HSI.​

For HSI's units alone that represents an annual savings in public funds of 16 million dollars.​​

The United States Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Shaun Donovan, explained it this way during his 2012 interview with John Stewart:​

"The thing we finally figured out is that it’s actually not only better for people, but cheaper to solve homelessness than it is to put a band-aid on it, because, at the end of the day, it costs, between shelters and emergency rooms and jails, it costs about $40,000 a year for a homeless person to be on the streets."

the impact of supportive housing on surrounding neighborhoods

In November 2008 NYU's Furman Center released a policy brief summarizing their research on the impact of our model on local communities. “While studies have shown that supportive housing plays a critical role in helping to address the problem of homelessness, before our study, little was known about the impact that supportive housing has on the neighborhood,” said Vicki Been, Elihu Root Professor of Law and Professor of Public Policy and director of the Furman Center. Contrary to fears that supportive housing decreased property values, the research showed the impact was in fact the opposite. Supportive housing has proven to be good neighbors, finding that buildings nearest by experienced strong and steady growth. Read the ​full Furman Center brief and a related NYTimes editorial detailing how supportive housing is not only the most cost effective public policy on chronic homelessness but also an integral component to smart community planning.

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