NEWPORT BEACH, Calif., March 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- According to research conducted by the University of California, Irvine, best practices implemented at The Orchard, a Permanent Supportive Housing project in Santa Ana, could save Orange County $42 million per year. The first-ever countywide study on the cost of homelessness may have long-lasting implications in how homelessness is addressed. The Orchard, which is the City of Santa Ana's largest single investment in housing for the homeless, is set to become a regional model.
UC Irvine Study
The UCI study aimed to identify how much is spent on services and other costs related to homelessness. Focused on a 12-month period from 2014-15, the study found a total of $299 million spent on health care, law enforcement and other expenses. The study found that it would be less expensive to invest in a Housing First approach than to pay for emergency and temporary services.
The Housing First approach assists people experiencing homelessness in finding and maintaining housing quickly. Stable housing is seen as the foundation to pursue health and independence goals. Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) combines housing and supportive services. Housing First and PSH have been successfully used nationally as complementary tools for ending chronic homelessness.
The Orchard provides PSH utilizing a Housing First model for 71 individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness. Located in Santa Ana, the $18 million project is developed by Community Development Partners with services provided by Mercy House.
"Housing works. Projects like The Orchard are the answer to ending homelessness, for even the most problematic of situations," says Mercy House Executive Director, Larry Haynes. "And what's more, The Orchard is providing housing in a really dignified and beautiful way. That isn't always the norm with housing for the chronically homeless."
City of Santa Ana Councilmember Vicente Sarmiento agrees, "The UCI study reinforces what we know: homelessness is extremely expensive for taxpayers and housing works. As a best practice, I encourage communities in Orange County to adopt this same model as a key strategy to cost-effectively and thoughtfully reduce homelessness throughout the region."
Kyle Paine, President of Community Development Partners, adds, "We have residents, like Robert 'Boston,' approaching their one-year anniversary at The Orchard. It is his first year in stable housing in over fifteen years. Each day these individuals resist the lure of the streets is another day of success in ending chronic homelessness."
Community Development Partners
Founded in 2011, Community Development Partners develops and operates sustainable, life-enhancing affordable housing with a focus on long term community engagement and innovative design. For more information, visit: communitydevpartners.com.
Contact: Beth Binger
SOURCE Community Development Partners