Research about the value and effectiveness of supportive housing has concluded:
- Positive impacts on health. Decreases of more than 50% in tenants' emergency room visits and hospital inpatient days; decreases in tenants' use of emergency detoxification services by more than 80%; and increases in the use of preventive health care services.
- Positive impacts on employment. Increases of 50% in earned income and 40% in the rate of participant employment when employment services are provided in supportive housing, and a significant decrease in dependence on entitlements - a $1,448 decrease per tenant each year.
- Savings to Community Due Result. Supportive and transitional housing created an average annual savings of $16,282 per person by reducing the use of public services: 72% of the savings resulted from a decline in the use of public health services; 23% from a decline in shelter use; and 5% from reduced incarceration of the homeless mentally ill.
- Positive impacts on treating mental illness. At least a third of those people living in streets and shelters have a severe and persistent mental illness. Supportive housing has proven to be a popular and effective approach for many mentally ill people, as it affords both independence and as-needed support.
A study of 900 homeless people with mental illness provided with supportive housing found 83.5% of participants remained housed a year later, and that participants experienced a decrease in symptoms of schizophrenia and depression. A study of almost 5,000 homeless individuals with mental illness placed in supportive housing through the NY/NY program confirmed that nearly 80% remained housed a year later, with 10% moving on to independent settings.
- Positive impacts on ending substance abuse. Once people with histories of substance abuse achieve sobriety, their living situation is often a factor in their ability to stay clean and sober. A one-year follow-up study of 201 graduates of the Eden Programs chemical dependency treatment programs in Minneapolis found that 56.6% of those living independently remained sober; 56.5% of those living in a halfway house remained sober; 57.1% of those living in an unsupported SRO remained sober; while 90% of those living in supportive housing remained sober.
Plus, the reduction in hospitalizations, incarcerations, and shelter costs nearly covered the cost of developing, operating and providing services in supportive housing. After deducting the public benefits, the average NY / NY supportive housing unit cost only $995 per year.
Other community revitalization impacts have also been realized as measured and reported by Common Ground Community (NYC) and a State of Connecticut based research study (available through the Corporation for Supportive Housing) where property values have increased and crime (murder, robbery, burglary, rape and assaults) rates have decreased in areas surrounding its principal supportive housing projects.
Replicating and adapting a proven solution that also contributes to break the cycle of homelessness offers the potential to translate and realize similar benefits for the populations served and community as a whole.
Eastman Commons is a growing coalition of local supporters who believe in the dignity and value of every person, and who care about our community. We believe that the strength of this type of constituency, supported by the team and organization being assembled, will become the fuel that encourages individuals to realize their goals and meet high standards of personal responsibility and neighborly behavior, while offering the support and services need to succeed - achieving the self-sufficiency with dignity and renewed hope in place its residents call home: The Eastman Commons Community.
Source: Corporation for Supportive Housing, www.csh.org housing works to end homelessness!