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Did you know that it costs more money for many people to remain homeless than it does to place them in permanent supportive housing?

It’s true! Due to the likelihood of homeless individuals cycling through emergency health care, shelters and the criminal justice system, we can actually save 40% more taxpayer dollars by investing in ending the cycle of homelessness for some of our most vulnerable neighbors.

The solution to ending homelessness is very simple: help individuals who are experiencing homelessness find permanent homes.

Community Solutions, a national leader in ending both veteran and chronic homelessness, has seen their Built for Zero initiative help entire communities change by doing just that.

Eight communities who partnered with Community Solutions have ended veteran homelessness and three have eradicated chronic homelessness in their communities.

These communities prove that ending veteran and chronic homelessness is not a hopeless cause. It’s possible. Not only is it possible – it’s happening. They’re all getting results by working together with local agencies to simplify the process and help people find permanent housing more quickly.

What Is Permanent Supportive Housing?

Permanent supportive housing is as simple as it sounds. Rather than shelters, which have restrictions on how long a person can stay, it’s permanent housing paired with services that provide help and support to someone coming out of homelessness. Not all people who experience homelessness need this intensive level of support, but for many, it’s a vital and cost-effective solution.

Services in permanent supportive housing may include case management, employment services, mental and physical health care and other treatments.

How Does Permanent Supportive Housing Save Money?

Although the solution to ending chronic and veteran homelessness may be simple, there’s a general misconception about the cost and practicality of permanent supportive housing models.

The truth is, multiple studies have been conducted across the country, and they all find the same conclusion. For people experiencing the worst forms of homelessness, it costs significantly less money to employ permanent supportive housing models and solve the problem than it does to let people remain homeless.

In 2006, Providence College in Rhode Island conducted a study that calculated the annual cost of chronic homelessness to be $31,617 per person. It also showed that placing those individuals in permanent supportive housing would cost $22,779 per year. That comes out to $8,839 less per person, by investing in the solution to end the problem.

More recently, a 2014 study found that it only costs $10,051 per person, per year to provide permanent supportive housing in central Florida. That’s one third the cost of leaving someone homeless in the same area.

Piquette Square: A Model for Permanent Supportive Housing

One example of how permanent supportive housing can impact individuals and their community is Piquette Square in Detroit. Piquette Square is a 150-unit apartment complex designed to house and support veterans who have experienced homelessness.

The project welcomed its first residents in the summer of 2010. Piquette Square was developed by the Detroit-based nonprofit Southwest Solutions, which also owns and manages the building.

Piquette Square offer veterans:

  • Mental health counseling
  • Substance abuse treatment
  • On-site job training
  • Computer labs
  • Educational programs
  • Classes and social programs

These supportive measures (along with others) help these veterans develop independent living skills that can help ensure they never return to homelessness.

Marcus Cobb, a U.S. Army veteran, is one of the residents living at Piquette Square. “I was on the streets and homeless for at least 16 years, on and off,” says Cobb.

After serving his country, he was living on the street, battling alcoholism and finding it hard to hold down a job. Cobb explains, “If I found a job, I would maybe go stay with someone or get an apartment. Then when I got tired of paying for it and didn’t want to be bothered, I ended up back on the streets. It was due to alcohol.”

By focusing on providing permanent housing first, places like Piquette Square can provide stability for people, allowing them to make long-term change.

Cobb says living at Piquette Square and getting the help he needed has made him feel successful – like he made it. “I made the transition from being an alcoholic to [recovery]. And there’s not a lot of people that can do that,” says Cobb.

Piquette Square gives Cobb and many in similar situations a home, stability and the help they need to change their lives.

The Quicken Loans Commitment

Quicken Loans is committed to helping out veterans, not just one day a year, but every day. That’s why we’re excited to partner with Community Solutions and their Built for Zero initiative to make sure every veteran in America has a permanent home.

To learn more about our commitment, including places like Piquette Square and the lives it’s changing, watch the video above and share it on social media.

If you’d want to be a part of the movement to end veteran homelessness, you can donate to Built for Zero or Southwest Solutions and Piquette Square by clicking the buttons below.



This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Hello, I work for an organization that offers both transitional housing and permanent supportive housing as described above in Connecticut. I would like information as to how we might be able to partner with Quicken or at least talk to your team members to make them aware of our mission.

    1. Hi Pat:

      While we are not equipped to help individual homeless veterans at this time, our friends at Community Solutions may be able to provide you and the veteran with information and resources. Thank you very much for reaching out and I hope the link helps!

  2. I’m a Viet Nam retired female veteran entrepreneur looking into some of the programs
    that maybe out there to partner on investments aimed towards providing housing for Homeless Veterans; currently I have two properties that are housing vets through DOH and the Veterans Administration; these properties are located in Pueblo, Co.
    I’ve been made aware of the need for housing for Veterans and believe I have a resource that
    may also provide housing (targeting Female Vets); and also providing transitioning housing. Another venture that I’ve located would provide 3 to 4 apartments and the possibility to build on the same lot another 3 or 4 apartment building down the road.

    Plus; I been made aware of the opportunity to acquire numerous trailers cheaply (needing renovation) that would also provide additional housing.

    I’m wanting to find information or talk with someone about these ideas…

    I listen to some of Kirt Atwell interview and read about how he began doing this after he left the military, and believe that I would be able to succeed with the right kind of partnering; or support… mainly to begin with just find someone to listen to my ideas.

    If there is that kind of source out there let me know.

    connie howard
    Retired USAF TSgt

    1. Hi Connie:

      Thank you for your service and your interest. It’s certainly a worthy cause. I’m going to send this along to some of our team members who work on these kinds of initiatives. Thanks for reaching out!

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