Has anyone heard about this? Utah, I'm surprised:
In eight years, Utah has quietly reduced homelessness by 78 percent, and is on track to end homelessness by 2015.
How did Utah accomplish this? Simple. Utah solved homelessness by giving people homes. In 2005, Utah figured out that the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail says for homeless people was about $16,670 per person, compared to $11,000 to provide each homeless person with an apartment and a social worker. So, the state began giving away apartments, with no strings attached. Each participant in Utah's Housing First program also gets a caseworker to help them become self-sufficient, but the keep the apartment even if they fail. The program has been so successful that other states are hoping to achieve similar results with programs modeled on Utah's.
One article — which, by the way, begans with some pretty dismal stuff about part time Hawaii State Rep and full time monster Tom Bower, as well as statistics about more typical "anti-homelessness" tactics — goes on to explain that it's not as though Utah is a state full of liberal hippies... Utah seems to have used a 2009 report that theorized it would be less expensive for the state to house the homeless than criminalize them.
As Conservative Republicans so love to say, "It's just math."
...Utah's results show that even conservative states can solve problems like homelessness with decidedly progressive solutions.
As a side note... I happened to see this link on Facebook, where it was already being fervently argued against by one very distressed conservative. His argument boils down to: "But... the homeless don't deserve housing. That's why they're homeless."
That's the entire opposing argument. Really.