David sits in his bedroom

NPR’s Neal Conan reports on Housing First:  Home and Healthy for Good Fixes Homelessness.

The summary, from NPR’s website:

August 3, 2009

Dr. Jessie Gaeta co-founded the Home & Healthy for Good project. The program gets the chronically homeless in Massachusetts into permanent housing first, then focuses on medical treatment.

Home & Healthy for Good is part of the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance. The program has provided homes to nearly 400 chronically homeless individuals. In addition to lowering homeless rates, the program has saved the state Office of Medicaid thousands of dollars per person.

As Dr. Gaeta explained to host Neal Conan, “this is a form of what we call permanent, supportive housing, meaning that the housing is coupled very tightly with wraparound services in the home, in the form of, most typically, a case manager, who is a link for this new tenant to mainstream services… Mental health, medical health, addiction, vocational training, life skills, that sort of thing.”

This approach works better than many traditional programs, and costs less in the long run.

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