Rethinking Our Approach Toward Addressing Homelessness

PITCAn article recently published by the Union Tribune draws attention San Diego’s investment of $127.5 million to address homelessness in the region.

It is estimated that there are currently 8,900 homeless individuals in the County of San Diego, which translates to the use of $14,232 on each homeless individual every year.

However, this large investment in homelessness does not produce a significant decline in the number of homeless individuals in the county.

Utah spends about $8,000 on each homeless person, has ended chronic veteran homelessness, and is expected to end homelessness in the state by 2015. It is argued that the Utah’s successful efforts to end homelessness can be traced to its shift to the ‘Housing First’ model for ending homelessness.

The ‘Housing First’ strategy follows an approach in which the most vulnerable, sickest, and chronically homeless individuals are provided permanent housing and support services as a method to end the cycle of homelessness.

Gordon Walker, director of Utah’s department of housing and community development, claims that by following the housing first approach and making homelessness a priority, San Diego also has the potential to reduce the cost of homelessness and achieve more successful outcomes in ending homelessness.