According to Nationswell in 2013, Utah has reduced its rate of homelessness by 74 percent over the past eight years, moving 2000 people off the street and putting the state on track to eradicate homelessness altogether by 2015.
How did they do it? They furnished apartments to the homeless, because they claim the costs are cheaper because it saves jail costs and E.R. costs.
“The state is giving away apartments, no strings attached. In 2005, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was $16,670, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be $11,000. Each participant works with a caseworker to become self-sufficient, but if they fail, they still get to keep their apartment.”
Is the change in the Utah homeless rate just cyclical?
The Huffington Post states that in 2011, the Utah homeless rate was decreasing, even when the national poverty rate was increasing:
“Though a recent congressional report announced recession-driven rises in poverty rates in 46 states, Utah is coming close to achieving its 10-year goal of eliminating chronic homelessness. The solution of the state is simple: give homes to the homeless,” states The Huffington Post.