From Street Roots, May 20, 2008

Cost comparison of shelter, rent assistance and supportive housing in Portland

Basic Shelter

* Cost: $12.15 per person per day for 1,400 people
* Services provided: Place to sleep indoors, mats on the floor, no services
* Annual cost: $6,208,650
* Annual results: Homelessness ends for 0 people

Rent Assistance

* Cost: $13.75 per person per day for 1,000 people
* Services provided: Housing placement, rent assistance, and housing retention services (case management and other supports)
* Annual cost: $5,018,250
* Annual results: Homelessness ended for people 1,000 people

Permanent Supportive Housing

* Cost: $40 per person per day for 400 people
* Services provided: Permanent affordable housing with resident, social and clinical services (such as mental health and drug and alcohol treatment)
* Annual costs: $5,712,000
* Annual results: Chronic homelessness ended for 820 people

National research indicates that it saves $12,000 a year to house someone in supportive housing rather than keep them homeless. Locally, that number is $15,000. Costs of homelessness include frequent hospital and jail stays, which are greatly reduced when people have permanent housing and the clinical and other service supports they need to maintain their health and thereby remain stable in housing.