What is a short summary of a budget analysis of a current or proposed social policy for social workers and practice policy?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The cost of homelessness to the taxpayer is a dilemma which some feel is being solved by the construction of shelters specifically for the chronic homeless, who often have disabilities. Permanent supportive housing (housing with supportive services) with Alcohol Treatment and various medical treatments has demonstrated a savings over the cost of treating the homeless in emergency rooms, etc. In the Journal of American Medical Association, this report was made about a center in Seattle, Washington,

...the participants in the 1811 Eastlake program cost $2,449 less per person per month than those who were in conventional city shelters.

Another study done in Los Angeles, California, where 10% of the entire homeless population exists, revealed that the placement of four chronically homeless persons into a supportive housing unit saved the city over $80,000 per year. In other facilities such as that of Portland, Oregon, there was a reduction of 57% of the cost of mental health services, along with a reduction of 79% if psychiatric hospitalization where facilities for the homeless exist.

With a policy of permanent housing, prevention and targeting programs, there have been marked reductions in the uses of ambulance, jails, emergency rooms, and other services, amounting to large savings for communities. 

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