No one should live or die on the streets of our Nation's capital.
On any given night, there are 1,500 individuals and 40 families experiencing chronic homelessness – which means they've been homeless repeatedly or for years and struggle with a long-term health condition. These are some of our most vulnerable neighbors.
Ending chronic homelessness is....
Individuals experiencing chronic homeless can suffer from life-threatening health conditions, severe mental illnesses, and/or substance abuse disorders. Without housing, these conditions get worse and individuals’ health deteriorates. These D.C. residents are dying young, and they are dying of preventable and manageable diseases. We can’t afford to wait – now is the time to end chronic homelessness in Washington.
While ending chronic homelessness may seem daunting, it is possible. Communities such as Houston, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and New Orleans have ended chronic homelessness among their veterans. We know what works to end chronic homelessness and city has a plan to do so by 2017. We simply need political will and resources to reach this goal.
It costs less money for the District to end chronic homelessness than it does to manage it. Between the costs of shelter, hospitals, police interaction, and other emergency services, it's cheaper to Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), the gold standard for ending chronic homelessness, than it is to do nothing. An analysis of emergency services used by the 828 most vulnerable individuals in the District shows that housing those individuals through PSH could save the city $19 million per year.