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Medical News & Perspectives
July 4, 2012

Supportive Housing Cuts Costs of Caring for the Chronically Homeless

JAMA. 2012;308(1):17-19. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.7045

In the late 1990s, Seattle leaders recognized the city had a problem. Homeless people with severe alcoholism consumed a tremendous share of public dollars, cycling in and out of emergency departments and the criminal justice system. The city's political, business, and hospital leaders joined forces with social service and substance abuse treatment agencies to adopt a new strategy not only to curb costs, but also to keep so many chronically homeless people from dying on the streets.