Ending Homelessness is Good for Everyone
The issue of homelessness is one that touches all of us. Whether we see it on the street, read about it in the news, or are affected by it personally, homelessness is a problem that needs to be addressed. And while there are many complex issues at play, there are also many simple solutions. With a little effort, we can make a big difference in the lives of those who are struggling and in the health of our community as a whole. Here are four reasons why solving homelessness is good for everyone.
1. It's good for the economy.
A study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that each homeless person costs taxpayers an average of $30,000 per year in emergency services, medical care, and incarceration. So, not only is providing housing more cost-effective than leaving people on the street, but it also boosts local economies. When people have stable housing, they're more likely to find and keep jobs, pay taxes, and spend money at local businesses.
2. It's good for public health.
When people don't have stable housing, their overall health suffers. They're more likely to experience mental and physical health problems and chronic diseases, and they're less likely to get preventive care. This not only takes a toll on individuals and families but also on our healthcare system as a whole; housing instability accounts for $4.6 billion in avoidable healthcare costs every year.
3. It's good for future generations.
It's estimated that as many as 2 million children in America experience homelessness each year. And while children are resilient, growing up without a stable home can have lasting effects on their health, education, and future prospects. Studies show that homeless children are more likely to experience developmental delays, chronic illness, anxiety and depression, and they're more likely to drop out of school and become homeless adults themselves.
4. It's the right thing to do.
At its core, solving homelessness is an issue of human rights. Everyone deserves a safe place to call home, and no one should have to suffer from the devastating effects of being homeless. As a first world country, we can and should do better for our most vulnerable citizens—and taking action now will make our communities stronger for generations to come.
Solving homelessness isn't just about helping those who are struggling today; it's about creating a brighter future for all of us. It's time to take action so that everyone in our community has access to safe, affordable housing—because when we do our best for those who need it most, we all benefit.