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REPORT SAYS HOUSING HOMELESS IS CHEAPER COSTS: PEOPLE LIVING ON STREET SPEND MORE TIME IN HOSPITALS, MENTAL HEALTH CLINICS.

Byline: Rick Orlov and Troy Anderson, Staff Writers

It would cost taxpayers less to provide public housing for Los Angeles' vast homeless population than to let them wander the streets as transients, according to according to
prep.
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.

2. In keeping with: according to instructions.

3.
 a report released today by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. .

The survey of four individuals found that it cost taxpayers $107,032 to provide housing and other benefits to a homeless person An individual who lacks housing, including one whose primary residence during the night is a supervised public or private facility that provides temporary living accommodations; an individual who is a resident in transitional housing; or an individual who has as a primary residence a  for two years, compared with $187,288 for those living in the street.

Costs for a more unsettled lifestyle soared because of more frequent visits to hospitals and mental health clinics and more frequent arrests and time spent in jail - bills also picked up by the public.

"I think it is something we always believed, but this proves that it is not cheaper to leave people out on the streets," said Elise Buik, president and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of the United Way's Los Angeles chapter.

"There has been this perception that it would cost too much to provide housing, and this shows that is not the case."

The study was launched in 2007 in cooperation with University of Southern California's Center for Community Health Studies and Housing.

In their report, researchers noted that chronically homeless residents feared that public housing would be taken from them and that it took some time for them to overcome their suspicions.

However, as the individuals became more comfortable, their quality of life improved, with many getting off drugs and alcohol and finding permanent jobs.

But Tony Bell, a spokesman for county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich Michael Dennis Antonovich (born 1939 in Los Angeles, California) is a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors representing the Fifth District, which covers northern Los Angeles County, the Antelope, Santa Clarita, Pasadena, and parts of the San Fernando and San , questioned the value of spending money on housing if the bigger issue of mental illness is not addressed.

"Putting those folks, the mentally ill, into housing is nothing but warehousing them without treatment," Bell said. "It's a revolving door without the requisite mental health treatment."

Daniel Flaming, president of The Economic Roundtable in Los Angeles, said the government could save money by addressing the particular needs of the homeless before their problems become debilitating de·bil·i·tat·ing
adj.
Causing a loss of strength or energy.


Debilitating
Weakening, or reducing the strength of.

Mentioned in: Stress Reduction
.

"One issue we need to be paying attention Noun 1. paying attention - paying particular notice (as to children or helpless people); "his attentiveness to her wishes"; "he spends without heed to the consequences"
attentiveness, heed, regard
 to is how to meet the needs of chronically homeless people who live on the streets," Flaming said. "On the other hand, there is also a need to intervene earlier before people become that disabled."

Also supporting the study was Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky Zev Yaroslavsky (born December 21, 1948) is a Los Angeles County politician. He served on the Los Angeles City Council from 1975 until 1994, when he was elected to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. He was preceded in both offices by Edmund D. Edelman. , who said the county conducted a similar study for Project 50 - a program that found housing for the county's 50 most vulnerable homeless - and came to similar conclusions.

The program has since been expanded to house 250 people in the San Fernando Valley San Fernando Valley

Valley, southern California, U.S. Northwest of central Los Angeles, the valley is bounded by the San Gabriel, Santa Susana, and Santa Monica mountains and the Simi Hills.
, Santa Monica Santa Monica (săn`tə mŏn`ĭkə), city (1990 pop. 86,905), Los Angeles co., S Calif., on Santa Monica Bay; inc. 1886. Tourism and retailing are important, and the city has motion-picture, biotechnology, and software industries. , Venice and West Hollywood West Hollywood

A community of southern California northeast of Beverly Hills. It is mainly residential. Population: 36,600.
.

"This is an intelligent analysis and it's consistent with other analyses done in Los Angeles and around the country," Yaroslavsky said.

Buik said the United Way is also trying to to educate the public and businesses about the report's findings.

"We need to show that the taxpayers benefit by having permanent housing and are hoping to see Los Angeles used as a model for managing homelessness," Buik said.

The United Way study is part of a 10-year program called Creating Pathways Out of Poverty, which was launched in 2007 to tackle the homeless problem.

"As we realize the economic impact of homelessness in Los Angeles and beyond, we need to continue driving the programs that will eradicate homelessness and poverty in Los Angeles County," Buik said.

"It's an uphill battle, with foreclosures up and over half (the people) spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing."

But with aid from government declining, Buik said the study shows ways money can be saved by providing housing.

"Cities like New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of
, Seattle and Portland have focused on long-term solutions such as rapid rehousing ... and have great success in reducing the homeless population," Buik said.

Over the past two years, the United Way has worked with local government to provide permanent housing for 5,000 individuals and families.

Much of this is the result of contributions from its annual HomeWalk, which will be held on Nov. 7, beginning in Exposition Park.

Last year, more than 4,000 people participated in the walk and raised about $500,000, officials said.

rick.orlov@dailynews.com

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Oct 13, 2009
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