Homelessness Happens, Here’s What Its Costing

Homelessness is a real issue, and over a half million of people are experiencing it at any given time.

It Can Happen to Anyone

A family of three bought a home within their budget. They sunk everything they had in their savings for their down payment. They moved in September and the husband (the primary income) lost his job in November due to lay off. The wife (secondary income) hadn’t worked for eight months since she couldn’t find a job that allotted her enough income to put their son in daycare.

Within three months, the husband found a job, but it was a significant pay cut than what the family was used too. Plus, he was required to travel and they had to pay upfront travel costs. To their surprise, he lost his job after two weeks at no fault of his own. His unemployment was frozen because they were investigating the job loss. Now the family had no money coming in. Their resources were depleted and all hope was lost. The mortgage payment that was once within their means, now far exceeded their income.

Both individuals are college educated and have worked their entire adult lives. Homelessness isn’t particular to who it affects. Sometimes circumstances are beyond your control.

Homelessness Defined

A person who is homeless is one that is living in a place not meant for human habitation, at-risk for losing their primary nighttime residence, struggling with unstable housing, people who are fleeing or attempting to flee from domestic violence, have no other residence, and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.

People become homeless for a variety of reasons. Homelessness can happen as a result of addiction or mental health disease. Life may create an untimely circumstance like a job loss, marriage dissolution, or unforeseen medical expenses.

Connections Make the Difference

Connecting individuals to the right programs and care is detrimental. A 2017 report conducted by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) states it costs $30-50,000 per person, per year to let a person remain homeless.

Without the right connections, individuals can remain stuck in a cycle: in and out of hospital emergency departments, inpatient beds, detox programs, jail, prisons, and psychiatric institutions.

According to the USICH, supportive housing has been shown to help people with disabilities permanently stay out of homelessness, improve their health condition, and lower public costs by reducing their use of crisis services; stating it is actually cheaper to provide supportive housing than have them remain homeless.

Make the Call

CCR can connect individuals facing homelessness with resources. Call 724-431-3748 to make a referral or visit CCR located at 212-214 South Main Street, Butler, PA.

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