Thursday, May 12, 2011

Chronic homelessness continues on a downward trend in Utah

Chronic homelessness in Utah is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Numbers are down for the sixth straight year as the state's Housing First initiative continues to prove itself. The creation of more than 385 low-cost housing units in various neighborhoods in the last five years, coupled with a gradually improving economy, has kept more than 500 people off the streets. Utah Lt. Governor Greg Bell said the net savings to taxpayers, in terms of conservation of services, is about $8,000 for each formerly homeless individual.

According to the annual Point-in-Time Count, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, there has been an 8.2 percent decline in overall homelessness and a decrease of 26 percent in chronic homelessness since 2004, when the state adopted a 10-year goal to end chronic homelessness in Utah. Deseret News

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