Supportive Housing Works to End Homelessness

CHS ( The Corporation for Supportive Housing is a national nonprofit organization and community development financial institution that helps communities create permanent housing with services to prevent and end homelessness.)

CHs offers a wealth of information and resources about and for supported housing. New FoundMinds regularly visit their site to learn and share the news on homelessness in America. We share in the concerns of the people and is working diligently toward building a supported housing community that can be replicated throughout the usa and beyond! advocate for supported housing in your neighborhood and watch your community thrive!

Supportive housing is proven to help people who face the most complex challenges–individuals and families who are not only homeless, but who also have very low incomes and serious, persistent issues that may include substance use, mental illness, and HIV/AIDS–to live more stable, productive lives.

Without a stable place to live and a support system to help them address their underlying problems, most homeless people bounce from one emergency system to the next–from the streets to shelters to public hospitals to psychiatric institutions and detox centers and back to the streets–endlessly. The extremely high cost of this cycle of homelessness, in human and economic terms, can be seen in the lives of people like Frank, a formerly homeless veteran from Chicago.

The ever-increasing momentum of government, corporate and philanthropic investment in supportive housing has been bolstered by research documenting its effectiveness. To date, these studies indicate:

Supportive Housing Improves Lives.
Research has shown that supportive housing has positive effects on housing stability, health, and employment; improves the mental health of residents; and reduces active substance use.

• Numerous supportive housing evaluations show retention rates of 75 to 85 percent, even among chronically  homeless individuals with severe mental illnesses and chronic substance use disorders.
• A study in conducted in Minnesota by the National Center on Family Homeless found that supportive housing resulted in improved mental health outcomes and decreased use of alcohol and drugs.
• The evaluation of the Chicago Housing for Health Partnership found that HIV-positive participants had much higher levels of survival with intact immunity compared to a control group.
• In a Seattle study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), researchers from the University of Washington maintain that placing chronic inebriates in a safe living situation has helped some residents decrease their drinking or quit.

Supportive Housing is Cost Effective.
It often costs about the same amount of money or less to house someone in stable, supportive housing as it does to keep that person homeless and stuck in the revolving door of high-cost crisis care and emergency housing.

• In the same Seattle study mentioned above, supportive housing was estimated to save taxpayers more than $4 million a year and help people with severe alcohol problems reduce their alcohol consumption. Researchers found the median monthly cost to taxpayers was $4,066 when each resident lived on the street. Six months after residents moved into supportive housing, that figure dropped to $1,492 per person. Even when the cost of apartments and supportive services were added, they concluded that supportive housing saves money.
• A study in rural Maine conducted by MaineHousing found that supportive housing reduced expenditures on mental health services by 57%, emergency room costs by 14%, ambulance transportation services by 32%, incarceration by 95%, and shelter costs by 99%, Per person cost avoidance was estimated to be $1,328 per person.
• A study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Mental Health Policy and Services Research, showed that service-enriched housing in New York City created an average annual savings of $16,282 for each unit of housing constructed.  If reinvested, these savings would pay for 95% of the cost of building, operating, and providing services in supportive housing.

Supportive Housing Benefits Communities.
Further evidence shows that supportive housing benefits communities by improving the safety of neighborhoods, beautifying city blocks with new or rehabilitated properties, and increasing or stabilizing property values over time.

• A study conducted by New York University’s Furman Center for Real Estate and Public Policy found that supportive housing has a slightly positive effect on the value of adjacent properties. This positive effect grows over time as the market realizes how supportive housing has improved the landscape and contributed to the safety and security of the neighborhood.
• An analysis of the Connecticut Supportive Housing Demonstration Program found that neighbors embrace supportive housing as an asset to their communities.  As one community resident said, “Anytime you put $1.2 million into a development in the middle of a neighborhood, along with social services, a well-kept, nice building on the outside, it is a major asset to the neighborhood.  I have toured the facility and was impressed.  It was a well-conceived and well-executed project.”

For more details about the research findings on supportive housing, please see CSH’s Research and Evaluation Resources.


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