Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes
Utah is on course to end homelessness throughout the entire state by 2015, according to a news report in the True Activist.
Utah’s strategy operates under a Housing First model. Each homeless participant receives an apartment and assistance from a case worker to help him or her achieve greater self-sufficiency. The homeless participant is allowed to keep the apartment even if the case worker does not succeed in helping him or her.
Though other jurisdictions have adopted such programs, few can claim making such dramatic progress in getting homeless people housed. Utah has lowered its homeless population by 78 percent.
Utah’s plan not only assists the homeless, but is also economically benefits the state, according to officials and homeless advocates. According to a 2013 report, the annual cost of emergency room visits and jail stays for homeless people totaled about $16,670, compared with the $11,000 required to provide each homeless person with an apartment and social worker.