The cost of homelessness is high and its impact is far-reaching. Studies have shown that one person who is chronically homeless, moving from hospitals and emergency rooms, to jails and courts, can rack up one million dollars in expenses annually. Counter that with statistics that show it costs about $10,000 per year to permanently house a person who is homeless. That $10K includes support services and case management, too.
What is the solution? St. Patrick Center has initiated a community partnership called Hospital to Housing. It’s a two-year pilot program for 20 patients/clients and it’s garnering broad support.
“Hospital to Housing will allow us to reduce chronic homelessness in the St. Louis region by expanding our network to provide more affordable housing and health care options for our clients,” said St. Patrick Center CEO Laurie Phillips.
The partners in this pilot program are BJC Healthcare, Barnes-Jewish Hospital and the Behavioral Health Network of Greater St. Louis.
The primary purposes of Hospital to Housing are (1) to partner homeless service providers with hospitals to identify frequent emergency department users who are chronically homeless; and (2) provide these patients with housing and support services through St. Patrick Center programming.
Hospital to Housing isn’t just a “win-win” for hospitals and service providers; it’s also a win for people who are chronically homeless. “Hospital to Housing will lead patients to better health outcomes—physical and behavioral—and cost the local system less than if they remained living on the street or in a shelter,” Phillips said.
To date, St. Patrick Center and partners have moved nine patients/clients into permanent housing. They are also seeking additional partners: funders, affordable housing landlords and other healthcare organizations.
To get involved, contact Chief Program Officer Nancy Yohe at 314-802-0700 or email@example.com.
As seen in the August 2019 issue of St. Patrick Center Chronicles