homeee As more Americans continue to see prices rise faster than their paychecks, an increasing number continue to rely on food banks and other assistance in order to help them get by. After a recent $5 billion budget cut in food stamps, millions of Americans saw their necessary food benefits decline.
Every year the state conducts a survey of the homeless population, the state currently has more than 15,000 that are homeless according to 2010 information.

In 2004 the state ventured on the journey to eradicate homelessness within a decade, and so far they’ve been mostly successful: chronic homelessness in Utah has been in a downward trend since 2005. So far, Utah has reduced its rate of chronic homelessness by 78 percent over the past 8 years.
More than 2000 homeless people have been moved off the street, and the state plans to have homelessness eradicated by 2015. Chronic homelessness is defined as someone who has experienced a form of homelessness three times in the past 5 years, or who has experienced homelessness for a period of one year or longer. The solution has been to supply the homeless with places in affordable housing complexes, getting people off the streets and putting them into contact with full-time case workers to help them get them back on their feet, and assist them in putting their life back together.
homeliess Prior to the initiative, Utah calculated the annual cost of E.R. visits and jail stays for an average homeless person was roughly $16,670 per year, while the cost of providing an apartment and social worker would be around $11,000. This fueled the initiative to give apartments away to those chronic homeless individuals on the street.
A San Francisco study previously found that placing homeless people in permanent supportive housing reduced their emergency room visits by more than half. Utah’s model is also being duplicated in numerous other locations, not only is it beneficial in a humanitarian sense, but it’s also economical. The initial pilot project started with 17 individuals who had spent an average of 25 years on the street, to where they have now placed thousands.
This cost-benefit oriented decision is not only beneficially economically, but also socially. Instead of criminalizing the existence of needy individuals; outlawing food donations or their visibility on the street, they are treated like humans (with empathy). It is smarter to work towards solving problems, while helping people, rather than punish them for a crime they didn’t commit.