The impact of ending homelessness, or at the very least, ending chronic homelessness, would be game-changing for Erie County. Not only would it improve the quality of life for thousands of people, but it would strengthen our community and economy.

If that isn’t enough, providing supportive housing for homeless people could ultimately save millions of dollars for taxpayers. One chronically homeless person costs taxpayers an average of $35,578 per year. On average, costs are reduced by 49.5 percent when they are placed in supportive housing.

Moreover, children who are homeless, as compared to housed children, have three times the rate of emotional and behavioral problems, are four times more likely to show delayed development, and have twice the rate of learning disabilities. People with learning delays and disabilities are also more likely to perpetuate the cycle of homelessness and be arrested. In Pennsylvania, a prisoner costs taxpayers over $40,000 per year.

In the United States, the cost of maintaining a person on the streets or in shelters ranges annually from $35,000 to $150,000 per person. However, permanent supportive rehousing programs typically only cost $13,000 to $25,000 annually.