Rethinking Homelessness

Allegheny County has been awarded a $21.8 million grant to help reduce homelessness. The county says the 65 projects will be funded representing 20 different agencies.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m a social worker. I’m all for helping the homeless. The question for me is, is this really the best way to go about it?
21.8 million is a LOT of money.
In fact, it’s enough to give 1,817 people $1,000 per month for a year.
And if we’re going to spend that much money, we owe it to ourselves (and to taxpayers) to follow the research!
In Vancouver, $7500 was provided unconditionally to people experiencing homelessness and besides saving the shelter system $8100, it also reduced drug and alcohol use by 40%.
A meta-analysis of many similar cash programs also shows a reduction. Cash programs like these are not only more effective, but more respectful towards one’s sense of autonomy and self-determination. Check out that study here!
So, rather than funding 65 separate projects amongst 20 different agencies, would it not be a lot better to just give it directly? #UBI
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