A national network of funders supporting strategic, innovative, and effective solutions to homelessness

Costs Associated with First-Time Homelessness for Families and Individuals


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This study from the HUD Office of Policy Development and Research examines costs associated with the use of homeless and mainstream service delivery systems by families and individuals experiencing homelessness for the first time in six study communities. Assigning costs to public programs is a first step toward developing measures of the value of public interventions compared to the public costs incurred by ignoring or avoiding the problems those interventions are intended to address. The study finds that the experience of homelessness is diverse and the associated costs vary tremendously depending on the pattern of homelessness and family or individual status. It is not, however, a study of either cost-effectiveness or quality of care, but rather a calculation of costs associated with homelessness.

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We joined Funders Together because we believe in the power of philanthropy to play a major role in ending homelessness, and we know we have much to learn from funders across the country.

-Christine Marge, Director of Housing and Financial Stability at United Way of Greater Los Angeles

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-David Wertheimer, Deputy Director at Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Very often a lack of jobs and money is not the cause of poverty, but the symptom. The cause may lie deeper in our failure to give our fellow citizens a fair chance to develop their own capacities, in a lack of education and training, in a lack of medical care and housing, in a lack of decent communities in which to live and bring up their children.

-President Lyndon B. Johnson, 1964 State of the Union Address

Funders Together has given me a platform to engage the other funders in my community. Our local funding community has improved greatly to support housing first models and align of resources towards ending homelessness.

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Our family foundation convenes local funders and key community stakeholders around strategies to end homelessness in Houston. Funders Together members have been invaluable mentors to us in this effort, traveling to our community to share their expertise and examples of best practices from around the nation.

-Nancy Frees Fountain, Managing Director at The Frees Foundation


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