In 2015, we commissioned a study to take an in-depth look at the cost of homelessness in Santa Clara County. This study, Home Not Found: The Cost of Homelessness in Silicon Valley, offers the most comprehensive analysis of the public costs of homelessness in the U.S. – not only quantifying the true cost that homelssness has on the public and safety net systems in our community, but also pointing to the myriad of possibilities of how ending homelessness can actually save the community money.
By helping demonstrate how housing our most vulnerable residents can reduce the costly burden on public services, this groundbreaking report has played a key role in driving Santa Clara County to embrace the Housing First approach and the collective impact strategies outlined in our Community Plan to End Homelessness.
Key Findings from this Report
- The Santa Clara County community spent $520 million/year providing services for homeless residents over the six years covered by this study. This represents the annual cost of providing public services to homeless residents over the six years covered by the study, with health care and the justice system representing the largest components of the overall cost.
- By prioritizing housing opportunities for persistently homeless individuals, it is possible to obtain savings that greatly exceed the cost of housing. For example, when analyzing the top decile of high-cost people housed in the Housing 1000 campaign, the estimate average pre-housing public cost was $62,473, while the estimated average post-housing cost was $19,767 – resulting in average annual cost reduction of $42,706.
Additional Information About this Report
Home Not Found was sponsored by Destination: Home and underwritten by the County of Santa Clara, and was authored by Economic Roundtable, a nonprofit, public benefit corporation conducting applied economic, social and environmental research that contributes to the sustainability of individuals and communities.
The study represents the largest and most comprehensive body of information assembled in the United States to analyze the public costs of homelessness, combining diverse data streams to analyze the population that experienced homelessness in Santa Clara County between 2007 and 2012. It also includes demographic and medical attributes, justice system history, health and human services provided, and the cost of services. This data shows the realities of the true cost to public and safety net systems of homelessness in Silicon Valley.
Read the entire report: Home Not Found: The Cost of Homelessness in SIlicon Valley.