While chronically homeless in 2010, the 35 participants used over $4 million in public resources, according to currently collected data. Since Project 25 began enrolling participants in March 2011, participants have already cut overall costs by 75 percent over a six month period.
“We’ve known that it costs more to do nothing, but now we’re starting to see the proof,” said Commissioner Brian Maienschein. “Project 25 is meeting its dual purpose – to stabilize and better the lives of some of San Diego County’s most disadvantaged and suffering community members and save taxpayers money in the process. The success of Project 25’s participants is also the success of the community at large.”
Funded and facilitated by the United Way of San Diego County, Project 25 is a vital and historic collaboration with the County of San Diego and City of San Diego/San Diego Housing Commission. Since Project 25 began in February 2011, St. Vincent de Paul Village has managed and overseen the program, including customized case management for enrolled individuals.
Creating the first comprehensive data collection for San Diego’s frequent users, Project 25 is tracking and compiling the total cost of services used by each person, before and after entering into the program. New data is obtained on a regular basis, with current cost savings from March to August 2011 including:
77 percent reduction in in-patient medical stays**
72 percent reduction in ambulance rides
74 percent reduction in ER visits**
56 percent reduction in arrests
50 percent reduction in number of jail days
In addition, over half of the participants have established a “medical home,” regularly receiving primary medical care at the same location, which helps maintain consistent care and decrease emergency hospital expenses.
The success of Project 25 is based on its strong partnership with dozens of organizations countywide, including Alpha Project, Alvarado Parkway Institute, County of San Diego District Attorney, County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Family Health Centers of San Diego, Paradise Valley Hospital, Promise Hospital, Salvation Army, San Diego County Sheriff’s Office, San Diego Housing Commission, San Diego Police Department, San Diego Rescue Mission, San Diego Medical Services Enterprise, Scripps Health, Sharp HealthCare, UC San Diego Medical Center and the VA Hospital.
* A chronically homeless person is defined as an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over one year.
** Person-specific data provided by UC San Diego Medical Center, Sharp HealthCare hospitals and the VA Hospital.
About Home Again
“Home Again” is United Way’s public engagement campaign to involve the broader community in ending chronic homelessness in San Diego County. It educates San Diegans about the proven “Housing First” model, which advocates for affordable housing first while simultaneously integrating supportive services. The campaign encourages the general public to “Learn more. Spread the word. Open a door.”
A chronically homeless person is defined as an unaccompanied disabled individual who has been continuously homeless for over one year. Although the chronically homeless are a minority of the overall homeless population, they drain significant resources – including legal, medical and emergency services – at a high cost to our community.
The funding United Way is raising will be spent on additional permanent supportive housing and services for the chronically homeless throughout San Diego County. For more information, visit http://www.homeagainsd.org, “like” on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.
About United Way of San Diego County
United Way of San Diego County is a nonprofit organization that for 90 years has improved lives by mobilizing the community and raising funds to solve Education, Income and Health issues. The United Way movement creates long lasting community change by addressing the underlying causes of problems that prevent progress in these areas. LIVE UNITED is a call to action for everyone to become part of the change. To learn more about the United Way, visit http://www.liveunitedsd.org; Like us on Facebook or “follow” on Twitter.
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United Way of San Diego County is a nonprofit organization that improves lives and creates lasting change by raising money and mobilizing the community to solve education, income and health issues. To learn more or to donate, please visit www.uwsd.org