Not only is it morally wrong to let people live desperately on the streets, but it doesn’t make much economical sense either.
A new study has found that it’s significantly cheaper to house the homeless than leave them on the streets.
University of North Carolina Charlotte researchers released a study on Monday that tracked chronically homeless adults housed in the Moore Place facility run by Charlotte’s Urban Ministry Center (UMC) in partnership with local government. Housing these people led to dramatic cost savings that more than paid for the cost of putting them in decent housing, including $1.8 million in health care savings from 447 fewer ER visits (78% reduction) and 372 fewer hospital days (79% reduction). Tenants also spent 84 fewer days in jail, with a 72% drop in arrests.
Moore Place cost $6 million in land and construction costs, and tenants are required to contribute 30% of their income (mainly benefits) towards rent. The remainder of the $14,000 per tenant annually is covered by donations and local and federal funding. According to the UNCC study, that $14,000 pales in comparison to the costs a chronically homeless person racks up every year to society — a stunning $39,458 in combined medical, judicial and other costs.
What’s more, Moore Place is enabling the formerly homeless to find their own sources of income. Without housing, just 50% were able to generate any income. One year after move-in, they’re up to 82%. And after an average length of 7 years of homelessness, 94% of the original tenants retained their housing after 18 months, with a 99% rent collection rate.
The general population is biased: The original proposal for Moore Place was “controversial, if not ridiculed,” according to the Charlotte Observer. Locals mocked the idea that giving the homeless subsidized housing would do any good. A 2011 report commissioned by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority found that people have condescending attitudes towards the homeless, with the public perceiving higher levels of substance abuse problems (91%) and mental health issues (85%) than reported by the homeless themselves (41% and 24% respectively). It concluded that if “personal failings as the main cause of homelessness, it is unlikely that they will vote for increased public assistance or volunteer to help the homeless themselves.”
But “you can’t argue with the statistics," said UMC housing director Caroline Chambre. “This approach was controversial at one time because of the stereotype of who the homeless are, and we had to change that stereotype.”
In 2012, total welfare spending for the poor was just 0.47% of the federal budget. It turns out that maybe if we spent a little more to help the chronically destitute solve their problems, we could save a lot of money.
Of course, what’s more important than saving money is being able to punish people and enjoy the warm glow of moral superiority while you do it.
Death toll now more than 1,300 after three weeks of fighting.
United Nations officials described the killing of sleeping children as a disgrace to the world and accused Israel of a serious violation of international law after a school in Gaza being used to shelter Palestinian families was shelled on Wednesday.
At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp was hit by five shells during a night of relentless bombardment across Gaza. More than 100 people were injured.
Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, said the attack was “outrageous and unjustifiable” and demanded “accountability and justice”. The UN said its officials had repeatedly given details of the school and its refugee population to Israel.
Fighting in Gaza continued through the day despite a four-hour humanitarian ceasefire called by Israel from 3pm. A crowded market in Shujai’iya was hit in the late afternoon, causing at least 17 deaths, including a journalist, and injuring about 200 people, according to Gaza health officials. They said people had ventured out to shop in the belief a ceasefire was in place. Witnesses said several shells struck as people were running away. Israel said rockets and mortar shells continued to be fired from Gaza.
At the UN school the first shell came just after the early morning call to prayer, when most of those taking shelter were asleep, crammed into classrooms with what few possessions they had managed to snatch as they fled their homes.
About 3,300 people had squashed into Jabaliya Elementary A&B Girls’ School since the Israeli military warned people to leave their homes and neighbourhoods or risk death under intense bombardment. Classroom number one, near the school’s entrance, had become home to about 40 people, mostly women and children.
As a shell blasted through the wall, showering occupants with shrapnel and spattering blood on walls and floors, Amna Zantit, 31, scrambled to gather up her three terrified infants in a panicked bid for the relative safety of the schoolyard. “Everyone was trying to escape,” she said, clutching her eight-month old baby tightly. Minutes later, a second shell slammed through the roof of the two-storey school. At least 15 people were killed and more than 100 injured. Most were women or children.
(Read Full Text) (Photo Credit: Khalil Hamra/AP & Lefteris Pitarakis/AP, respectively)
U.S. Democrats plan to give Israel an addition $225 million for military spending. The same bill also cuts $1 billion of emergency funds meant to deal with the 50,000 undocumented child migrants held in crowded and unsanitary border facilities.
Israel already received $504 million for the joint U.S.-Israel Missle Defense Program for the Fiscal Year of 2014. That is not including the $3.1 Billion the Obama Administration spent on Foreign Military Financing (FMF) for Israel for the Fiscal Year 2014.
no money for water in detroit
no money for public schools
no money for student loan debt relief
no money for healthcare
no money for crumbling infrastructure
no money for economic investment in inner cities and indian country
People need to get angry now
This weekend, activists in Uganda - a country where homosexuality is punishable by death - held their first Pride.
This is the epitome of courage. I have no other words.
|—||Leonard Pitts Jr (via redcloud)|
La Paz (AFP) - Bolivia on Wednesday renounced a visa exemption agreement with Israel in protest over its offensive in Gaza, and declared it a terrorist state.
President Evo Morales announced the move during a talk with a group of educators in the city of Cochabamba.
It “means, in other words, we are declaring (Israel) a terrorist state,” he said.
The treaty has allowed Israelis to travel freely to Bolivia without a visa since 1972.
Morales said the Gaza offensive shows “that Israel is not a guarantor of the principles of respect for life and the elementary precepts of rights that govern the peaceful and harmonious coexistence of our international community.”
More than two weeks of fighting in Gaza have left 1,300 dead and 6,000 wounded amid an intense Israeli air and ground campaign in response to missile attacks by the Islamist militant group Hamas.
In the latest development, 20 people were killed after two Israeli shells slammed into a United Nations school, drawing international protests.
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel in 2009 over a previous military operation in Gaza.
In mid-July, Morales filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity.”
Photos: Bolivian ambassador to the UN Sacha Llorenti wears keffiyeh in solidarity with Palestinians, July 2014.
In 2014, Colorado oil & gas spills are happening twice a day
August 1, 2014
The more they drill, the more they spill. And the part about telling residents about it, not so much.
A Denver Post analysis of Colorado oil and gas spills so far in 2014 reveals that they are happening twice a day “and usually without anyone telling residents.”
That rate, 467 spills for the first 7 months of this year, suggests that the state will surpass last year’s record of 575, the paper reported, due to a surge in oil and gas development and more stringent reporting rules. The state oil and gas commission said that tougher enforcement is also a factor.
Colorado now has about 52,000 active oil and gas wells, with much of the recent growth occurring along the populous Front Range north and northeast of Denver. The rapid pace of drilling and its proximity to many communities has sparked a simmering revolt, with the prospect looming of an epic election season battle over ballot proposals to allow more local control of oil and gas development. A drive to obtain enough signatures to place those measures on the ballot will conclude on August 4.
Since 2010, the paper reported, about 21 percent of the nearly 2,500 reported spills have contaminated either ground or surface water.
New rules implemented this year by the oil and gas commission require operators to notify the agency whenever more than 210 gallons are released, a tougher requirement than the previous threshold of 840 gallons. Other parties that must be notified include the landowner where the spill takes place, state health officials if water is contaminated, and someone from local government.
But as the paper reports, “government officials generally don’t announce spills or otherwise notify nearby residents.”
That prompted a sharp response from Pete Maysmith, executive director of Conservation Colorado. “These oil and gas companies are engaging in a heavy industrial activity – right over the backyard fence in some instances. And with that comes the responsibility of telling people who could be affected when something goes wrong.”
Click here to watch Jon Stewart discuss the tax loophole known as corporate inversion.