Housing: the better choice
for people and communities
The DRC offers community-based, common-sense solutions that provide permanent housing, not just temporary shelter, because housing for people experiencing homelessness saves money, improves lives and creates a more vibrant community.
HOUSING SAVES MONEY
Homelessness is costly. More than $30 million—$12 million in public funds and $18 million in private contributions— is spent on homeless services in Fort Worth and Tarrant County annually.
Only one in every three dollars is spent on solutions like housing that end homelessness.
“Emergency shelters, primary care at the emergency rooms, 9-1-1 response to homeless shelters, detoxification, and the cost incurred by libraries for providing de facto daytime shelter for the homeless are important services to be sure, but do not end homelessness,” according to the City of Fort Worth study that launched its Directions Home program to end chronic homelessness.
Housing, the common sense solution to homelessness, simply costs less.
Evidence suggests that as much as $1 million in public money can be saved annually for every 100 chronically homeless individuals housed, based on reduced use of hospital care and emergency services.
HOUSING IMPROVES LIVES
Homelessness places people of all ages at greater risk of victimization, disease, mental illness and substance abuse than their fellow Americans.
These factors combine to reduce life expectancy for people experiencing homelessness to an average of 64 years, compared to the U.S. average of almost 80 years.
By contrast, housing improves health, based on reduced demand for emergency medical services among people who have escaped homelessness.
HOUSING IS HEALTHIER
The concentration of homeless services in Fort Worth’s East Lancaster Avenue corridor has cost the city millions in lost taxable property value increases. This economic stagnation compounds the public and private costs of homelessness.
Instead of concentrating services in one neighborhood, DRC solutions reach out to people where they are through colocation. Collocated services and housing combine to form a solution that costs less and works better for all concerned.
THE BOTTOM LINE
We have a choice: we can spend millions to merely manage homelessness or invest to end it. Housing is the choice of greatest value to individuals and our community.