Solutions to the homeless problems are complex and very expensive.
The Economic Roundtable and the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority published a report in 2009 entitled “Where They Sleep, Costs When Homeless and Housed in Los Angeles.” This study found that it costs $605 per month to house a homeless person in supportive housing. That compares to $2,897 per month to house a homeless person (costs in 2008 dollars).
Using these numbers and adjusting for seven years of inflation, the corresponding L.A. costs are estimated to be $664 per month for sheltered housing, $3,178 per month for unsheltered housing. Using the Fresno/Madera 2014 “Point In Time Count,” the estimated yearly cost to support 557 sheltered and 1,534 unsheltered persons in Fresno would be estimated at $62.9 million a year.
To improve the city image and the common good and better control costs, it would be wise to restart the “Fresno Conversation on Homelessness.” Also identify a person with a proven track record to become an honest broker for all stakeholders involved with Fresno city and county homeless issues.
Bill Lynam, Clovis