This study was commissioned by the Hunger & Homelessness Coalition of Collier County to test the theory that the current reactive, short-term, emergency-centered approach to managing homelessness is in actuality much more expensive than providing longer-term housing to people who become homeless. Secondarily, humanizing homelessness in Collier County and putting a face on the issue, was also an objective. This report combines both concerns utilizing objective and subjective data.
The methodology used relies heavily on interviews with both homeless individuals and those who serve them in Collier County. Data presented has been supplied directly by the individuals and agencies who are currently involved in managing homelessness in Collier County. The reliability of the data is easily testable and if anything, most likely undercounts the actual expense of the current system.
The results were startling even to those who serve the homeless on a daily basis. We found that under the current system, it is five times more expensive to manage homelessness related expenses than to just provide housing to individuals and families without a home.