Stable housing is critical to living a healthy life – average life expectancy for a person with stable housing is over 27 years more than the average person experiencing housing instability or homelessness. In fact, people who move from homelessness into permanent supportive housing reduce their health care costs by an average of 59%.
It’s this interdependence of housing and health that’s led Stanford Health Care to support our efforts to end and prevent homelessness for the last five years. By tackling homelessness and housing instability as key determinants of health, Stanford Health Care aims to improve health outcomes for the whole community, and particularly those who face the biggest barriers to leading healthy lives.
Community members who are directly experiencing homelessness face not only the lack of a safe and stable home, but their experience can also exacerbate additional challenges, including deteriorating physical and mental health. Stanford Health Care recognizes that by building strong partnerships that leverage cross-sector strengths, they can amplify collective positive impact – improving the community, advancing equity, and solving the intractable issues that our community faces.
To truly prevent the health issues that stem from homelessness, Destination: Home and its partners must prevent homelessness before it begins and end homelessness quickly by implementing data-driven, proven solutions that tackle the crisis from every angle. Since 2019, Stanford Health Care has partnered with Destination: Home on homelessness prevention and housing stability initiatives, including the Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System, the Silicon Valley Guaranteed Income Project, the Heading Home campaign to end family homelessness, and the production of deeply affordable and supportive housing. These programs address the root causes of homelessness and work to ensure that everyone in Silicon Valley has access to safe, affordable, and stable housing, which is essential for good health.
The deep commitment of a diverse range of partners involved in this work – local nonprofits, government agencies, community members, and corporate and philanthropic entities, including Stanford Health Care – has created a powerful collective that has come together to prevent and end homelessness in the community. As a part of this collective, Stanford Health Care’s partnership has contributed to incredible impact. The Santa Clara County Homelessness Prevention System has provided assistance to over 5,000 households since 2017, over 900 families have found permanent housing through the Heading Home campaign, and countywide the number of permanent supportive housing units has doubled since 2015.
With this shared commitment and collaborative approach, Stanford Health Care continues to broaden its partnerships and work alongside the community to ensure that all everyone in Santa Clara County has access to safe, affordable housing and the opportunity to live their healthiest lives.