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An economical incentive to house the homeless

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Say what you will about George W's tenure as POTUS, but apparently his homelessness czar Philip Mangano knew what he was doing. Mangano was a major proponent of a "housing first" approach to homelessness, which actually seems to be working. "Between 2005 and 2012, the rate of homelessness in America declined 17 percent." Furthermore, studies now show that it actually costs three times as much money to leave the homeless on the streets and pay for subsequent problems, than find them housing. "The most recent report along these lines was a May Central Florida Commission on Homelessness study indicating that the region spends $31,000 a year per homeless person on "the salaries of law-enforcement officers to arrest and transport homeless individuals — largely for nonviolent offenses such as trespassing, public intoxication or sleeping in parks — as well as the cost of jail stays, emergency-room visits and hospitalization for medical and psychiatric issues. By contrast, getting each homeless person a house and a caseworker to supervise their needs would cost about $10,000 per person." [Vox]