The cost of homelessness

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Each year millions of taxpayer dollars are dispersed throughout the Tri-state to reduce homelessness.

A progress report released Wednesday by Strategies to End Homelessness, shows it is 60 percent more cost effective to prevent a person from becoming homeless than helping a person after they become homeless.

"At this point of time we still have many people who are on the verge of homelessness," said Kevin Finn, Executive Director for Strategies to End Homelessness. "All the reason why we need to offer preventative services for them."

Last year, more than 7,000 people were on the streets or in homeless shelters in Hamilton County. Sixty six percent of them are African American, 31-percent are white and three percent are mixed race.

On average, it cost taxpayers $1,322 per person to serve a someone in a shelter, that's the time from checking into a shelter, to getting out and getting on their feet.

"There is the cost of actually housing the person, but also providing them case-management services to plan for getting them out," said Finn.

But the average cost per person to prevent someone, who is on the verge of homelessness, from becoming homeless is $787 dollars.

"The number of obstacles one must overcome are significantly greater if they have already become homeless, versus they aren't quite there yet," said Finn.

For a full progress report from the Strategies to End Homelessness, click here.

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