Housing the Homeless Could Save Floridians Millions of Dollars Each Year
By: Tracey Lowe
Florida’s homeless population ranks third largest in the nation. The 2015 Annual Homeless Assessment Report estimated that nearly 36,000 adults in Florida were homeless and Florida public schools reported an astounding 73,322 children as homeless or having unstable housing last year. Homelessness not only affects the individuals and families living in poverty, but also impacts the local and state economy and future prosperity.
A recent study found that the cost of chronic homelessness in Central Florida is estimated to be $31,000 per person per year in healthcare, law enforcement, education, social services, and substance abuse and mental health program expenses. The same study reported that providing affordable housing and case management for this population has an estimated cost of $10,000 per person per year, representing potential savings of millions of dollars to taxpayers in the future. Several companies and organizations, like Central Florida Partnership, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo, have partnered on initiatives to end homelessness in Florida.
Jobs and education create equal opportunity and hope for all Floridians, including our most vulnerable residents. How will your business and your community lead the effort to break the cycle of generational poverty and reduce chronic homelessness?