Ignoring Homelessness Actually Costs You More Than Solving It
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Ignoring Homelessness Actually Costs You More Than Solving It

The winding road towards ending homelessness in America.

Ignoring Homelessness Actually Costs You More Than Solving It

“We have the cure for homelessness — it’s housing. What we lack is political will,” states Sam Tsemberis, a psychologist at New York University. He tests a new model for putting an end to homelessness along with a few others including Rene Zepeda as he helps find homes for those in the streets. Zepeda works in Utah with a program called, Housing First, which has now expanded to other states in America. According to Mother Jones, a nonprofit news outlet, “Utah has decreased the number of homelessness by 72 percent — largely by finding and building apartments where they can live permanently, with no strings attached.” This is more than just a program, it is a philosophy.

When we gather a new sense of thinking we can come up with amazing solutions. Some general ideas that come to mind when it comes to putting an end on homelessness include bettering education, creating more jobs, etc. What we will soon come to realize is that a “redesign” in our political system will make all of the difference while also saving an enormous amount of money. A lot of the homeless abuse drugs and alcohol and most of the time they end up in the ER or taking up space in jail. "This is expensive — costing between $30,000 and $50,000 per person per year,” according to the Interagency Council on Homelessness. Utah found that giving people supportive housing cost the system about half as much as leaving the homeless to live on the street.

Housing First has tried multiple experiments to end the homeless epidemic.They have ranged from models dealing with both long-term and short-term homelessness.

“We stick our heads in the sand or try to find bandages for the system." — Scott Carrier

From what I have seen, we either give a couple of dollars to a homeless person as we pass by, ignore them as if they don’t exist, or maybe even give them the rest of our sandwich. While we all have our own reasons for being the way we are and doing the things we do, we can’t deny the fact that we are all humans and we need to look out for one another.

Through trial and error, Housing First has found much success. In short, they have altered the way homelessness should be looked at and approached.

“Going from homelessness into a home changes a person’s psychological identity from outcast to member of the community,”

Tsemberis says. Previous efforts have included getting the homeless into a home by having them abide by certain rules and attend rehab or counseling only to find that it wasn’t working. When they decided to change their views to “operate with the belief that housing is a basic right,” they were able to find a higher success rate in not only getting people off of the streets but also keeping them off of the streets as well. With what started in Utah, there has been success in making change all throughout the country.

When we give cash to a homeless person we might be trying to help, but instead, we are enabling their addictions. When we ignore them we are denying them of who they truly are - human. When we offer them the rest of our sandwich or coffee, we are just looking at the surface. Making active strides towards the problem is what will give us the best results. Next time your head hurts, take a pill. The next time it hurts after that, try to figure out why you got a headache in the first place.

From Your Site Articles
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Everyone's been here. And, truthfully, it sucks. But in order to move on and get past something you need to allow yourself to feel it for what it is--all of the heartbreak and pain--and then you can start to take steps move on.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Christmas season is coming to an end, but it's not too late to get some last-minute movies in! Unfortunately, this year didn't look like a typical Christmas. While we can't have any big Christmas parties or family gatherings, we can still celebrate at home! Christmas is the best time for nostalgia, and we could all use some warm and fuzzy feelings as we wrap up a tough year and enter a new one that hasn't been proven any calmer, either.

As a kid who grew up in the 2000s, I can think of some of my favorite staple Christmas movies. If you're looking for recommendations or just a walk down memory lane, check out the list below.

Keep Reading... Show less

As we enter the new year, you might be looking for a great show to kick-off 2021. Look no further, I have the perfect recommendation. "The Wilds" was released on Amazon Prime last month and has been gaining traction steadily since then. This series of 10 one-hour episodes tells the stories of eight girls who find themselves on a deserted island after their plane crashed while they are on their way to a resort. Unlike other survival shows, there's a bit more to the story than what first meets the eye. This show is unique in characters, storytelling methods, and plot.

If you aren't convinced yet, allow me to provide you with a list of further persuasion.

Keep Reading... Show less

10 Things TikTok Made Me Buy, And Now My Life Is So Much Better

Where would I be without my Revlon hair dryer or CeraVe skin products?! Thanks, TikTok.


TikTok is a great way to see what products are trending. People are sharing tips and tricks about items that they use to make their life happier, healthier, or just easier.

Keep Reading... Show less

Online classes and virtual reality in general have been the staple of 2020. One day in March, everything shut down and we all had to learn how to work, teach, study, do therapy, and take classes remotely without much preparation. So, it's been a roller-coaster experience, and definitely not what we expected.

Keep Reading... Show less

11 TV Characters Who Are Irritating BEYOND Belief

Maybe they never really did anything seriously wrong, but oh my god they are annoying af.


Have you ever been watching your favorite show, all comfortable and relaxed, and then that one character that you just can't stand pops up on the screen and ruins your mood? I know I certainly have. These characters aren't necessarily evil or horrible people, but they do have personalities that make them incredibly irritating. They're the kind of characters that make you want to yell at the writer, "what the hell were you thinking with this one?" Perhaps they have never hurt a fly, but it doesn't matter since their character just straight-up sucks.

By the way, some of my arguments contain spoilers, so fair warning.

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Songs You Should REALLY Add To Your Winter Playlist

Watch the snow gently falling out your window and put these songs on to get in the winter mood.


For the majority of these songs, I can't really explain why, but they remind me of winter. Maybe it's their slow pace, their magical synth sounds, or their melancholy lyrics, but all of these songs give me winter vibes. If you're looking to add some songs to your winter playlist, give these ones a listen.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments