Homeless program saves taxpayers money

June 8, 2012

A program to provide permanent housing to some of Los Angeles County’s most hard-core homeless more than paid for itself, yielding a net savings of $238,700. [LATimes]

Project 50 began in late 2007 with the goal of finding and housing the 50 most vulnerable, chronically homeless living on the streets of skid row in downtown Los Angeles. Since then, the number of participants has grown to 133.

The chronically homeless – those who are either physically disabled, mentally ill, mentally challenged, elderly or deep in the throes of alcoholism – have a high cost to counties because of medical, shelter and incarceration expenses.

Over a two year period, the program cost Los Angeles County $3.045 million but generated $3.284 million in estimated savings, the LA Times said.

Project 50 was controversial because it did not require people to get sober before they were housed. But advocates of the so-called housing-first approach say a permanent roof provides the stability chronically homeless people need to get their lives back on track, the LA Times said.

In San Luis Obispo County, the 10 year plan to eliminate homelessness focuses on those who are likely to become productive members of society and not on the chronically homeless.  Instead of providing housing, which helps keep the mentally ill, felons and alcoholics off the streets, the program is focused on having homeless conform to strict regulations, including making program administrators payees of their government subsidy checks with the funds to be used later to pay for housing.

On June 1, the Prado Day Center, which provides services such as showers and lunches to the homeless, began barring those who sleep in their vehicles at night along Prado Road, many of whom are chronically homeless.

In Los Angeles County, project 50 was championed by Supervisor Yaroslavsky.

“My notion was that front-end investment in social services and stable housing would not only prove to be vastly more humane, but less costly for the public treasury,” Yaroslavsky said to the LA Times. “This audit makes the case for accelerating the county’s efforts to house the chronically homeless and provide them with the critical social services they need.”


24 Comments

  1. Cindy says:

    Whoever is barring homeless people from food and showers because they sleep in their cars should be FIRED,FIRED FIRED.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 9

    • Mr. Holly says:

      Cindy-open your home to some homeless. Go to the Sunken Gardens and show us YOUR compassion for the homeless. It’s not as easy as it sometimes appears.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 9

      • Cindy says:

        I do help them. They need someplace to go and if I’ve said it once I’ve said it 50 times. They need a camp ground with running water, fire pits and bathrooms. Problem solved as compared to no solution at all. It is wrong, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG to be cruel to the homeless and especially to refuse food (a necessity for life itself) or a blanket or a place to rest their heads. You never know what is going to happen. Some of us who live in our big homes could end up with no place to go someday, there are no guarantees in life.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

        • willieslo says:

          Cindy
          “It is wrong, WRONG, WRONG, WRONG to be cruel to the homeless and especially to refuse food (a necessity for life itself) or a blanket or a place to rest their heads.”

          This is old to say but I will say it again and again, Dan Devaul thought and felt the same, he was able and did do something non profit!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

        • willieslo says:

          And Dee Tores is struggling to do something for $80+11,000 a year to manage five lousy cars on Prado.

          There are a lot of good worth people out there who will do it for a fraction of that amount

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  2. RU4Real says:

    Zev is getting more than one complaint, however from a group of Seniors living in an “over 55 complex” in (I think) Canoga Park…They are complaining about putting these “ne’er do wells” into an over 55 complex & that these folks are disruptive & causing all kinds of loud & disruptive behaviour. Clearly, not everyone in LA is happy about how the homeless are being “warehoused” into communities that had been peaceful & quiet…The residents are really upset & are complaining loud & clear & THEIR VOICES WILL BE HEARD…Who can blame them, would you want to have your peaceful environment invaded by a bunch of drunks & meth heads???

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  3. Trailerparkboy says:

    To maintain their tax free status, why not make the churches house, feed and care for the homeless? Or forfeit the tax status. Then, go public with the list of churches. We will see if their hearts are in the right spot or not. I can see it now in the “Whats your emergency” column in the TT, yeah there’s these two peace loving public minded homeless guys fighting over a shirtless women and I think what looks to be a bag of dope. Really, why not make the brothers keepers keep them. I wish the world of altruism was such a feel good endeavor with good results,while it also kept peoples ego’s in check. Not to likely. Maybe if the solution that came from LA had done such a great job in the first place, the numbers of the homeless and the NIMBY types wouldn’t mind their church, mosque, temple, coven or creek loaded up with the Homeless. I can’t remember what bible verse it is exactly that talks about the good Samaritan, I’ll bet my ring side seat to the next bum fight that the Savior didn’t limit parking spaces. Revolting, yes my rant is filled with sarcasm and vitriol yet have your kids or you been traumatized or assaulted by these cute little homeless SOB’s. Well mine have, and I’m over it. We’re in really tough times and it will be for some time to come, wake up. Hypocrites.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

    • Ted Slanders says:

      Trailerparkboy,

      The Good Samaritan narrative resides in Luke 10:25-37. Yes, I have railed in the same vein ad infinitum in this forum regarding the churches of our community to step up to the plate and actually follow the teachings of Jesus! It has all fallen upon deaf ears. But, they still want their tax-free status.

      This is why 99.99 percent of the Christian community in San Luis Obispo county are pseudo-christians and outright HYPOCRITES to the true teachings of Jesus the Christ.

      What you want to proffer in the future relative to the hypocritical churches and their cultural Christian inhabitants, are the following passages.

      “Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” (Matthew 19:21)

      Jesus said; “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.” (1 John 3:17-18)

      Jesus said; “All they asked was that we should continue to remember the poor, the very thing I was eager to do.” Galatians 2:10

      Jesus said: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves. Protect the rights of all who are helpless.” ( Proverbs 31:8)

      “For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’ (Deuteronomy 15:11)

      It sickens Jesus and I when the alleged Christian community turns a blind eye to His teachings, and continue in their hypocritical stance towards the poor as they drive by them with the latest Detroit has to offer!

      WWJD?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 11

      • Trailerparkboy says:

        Mr. Slanders, while the church opens its parking lots “woo, gee thanks” and drug tests them to see if they pass muster. Lets not forget to then check their sexual orientation in accordance with their rule book for discriminatory behavior, I meant tax free status. Hmm, let me see if I can by chance find any inflammatory verses about gay citizens let alone (LGBT’s) not yet recognized as of yet. Oh, here’s just a few good one’s from another rule book that embraces fascist behavior . Lev 18:22, Lev 20:13 Ezekiel 16:49-50, lest you say I just pulled from the old rule book here”s from the Newer version. Here are some Jim Dandy’s, Matt. 10:14-15 Romans 1:26-27 and Jude 1:7. My observations are, I know just a bit off the beaten path of most posts on this site. It is high time for the people of faith and people who don’t have an orthodox belief system pull their collective heads out of the sand. It seems to me the same things are being tried by both parties and at what cost. The freedom and sustainability of the citizens here need to be free to help in what ever way possible, agreed. Put real solutions on problems not just band aids. Matthew 26:11 states that we will always have the poor with us, so be kind. To do good, volunteer yourself and throw yourself into it , voluntarily. That’s helping you and them and our community.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 3

  4. Cicero says:

    Great comparative investigation Ms. Velie!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 5

    • RU4Real says:

      Karen really needs to do a little more fact checking on this one…Get to the heart of the story…The residents of the complexes that these derelicts are now being housed in are NOT HAPPY AT ALL…Their formerly peaceful lives have been turned upside down & they’re not used to finding used needles, etc. on the premises where THEY once lived quiet, peaceful lives…Check it out Karen. You only have to go back to May to discover the facts of this & other stories related to the warehousing of these “transients”…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

    • Cindy says:

      This is not an investigation, this is a news brief. The info is taken straight from the LA Times (notice the link) and then simply compared with the core facts about SLO County’s latest program to get people into permanent housing.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

      • RU4Real says:

        cindy, while it may not have been an “investigation”, it would have been prudent of Karen to ask a few questions & get a better idea of what’s really happening & what the RENT PAYING RESIDENTS think about this scheme…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

  5. ringowine says:

    There are just some things for which there is no profit. If there was a profit to be made with the mentally ill or the homeless, private enterprise would be out beating the bushes of the creeks and under the
    bridges of the highways and the byways because there’d be $ signs attached to them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

  6. Mr. Holly says:

    There is NO government that saves money. If it’s there it will be spent and that is why they are ALL in trouble. Just like the schools.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 5

  7. willieslo says:

    2007 was an artifical fat time (LA got into big problems with their budget in spending).
    This is 2012 and times are actually lean everywhere!.
    Nevertheless they will do the same expected thing again “spend”
    The question is “HOW MUCH?” $80,000 + an additional $11K to manage 5 cars on Prado?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

  8. prbizownr says:

    Here we go again reinventing the wheel instead trying a solution that has worked other places. Not focusing on the chronically homeless is not going to make them go away. Yes, I do realize that some of the people are homeless by choice, but not all are.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  9. rogerfreberg says:

    Only a public entity would say that spending money saves money…. what they are saying is that it may actually cost us less. The operative word is MAY; however, this program still costs money and it does not pay for itself.

    However, it all depends on the assumptions doesn’t it?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 12

    • Ted Slanders says:

      rogerfreberg,

      How ever the words are parsed relating to whether this entity is not paid for, it pales in comparison to the two fraudulent wars, Medicare part D, and the Bush tax cuts that President Bush has thrown upon this nation, barring the terrible loss of lives of said wars, THAT WERE NOT PAID FOR!

      So, since when did you take the banner that everything has to be paid for so as to be justified? What was your turning point, the Democratic presidency?

      It does not depend upon any assumption, it depends upon actual FACTS! A proactive stance in this situation can save money if done properly under the right guidelines.

      No, I don’t expect you to respond Roger, as usual, you make your hit-and- run inane postings and hide behind the same computer screen as usual, awaiting your plus numbers to rise as if it is a great accomplishment. This is all you have to look forward to instead of actually engaging in dialog of the topic at hand.

      Good day Roger.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 7

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