100,000 Homes: Housing the homeless saves money?



The following is a script from “100,000 Homes” which aired on Feb. 9, 2014. Anderson Cooper is the correspondent. Andy Court, producer.

Giving apartments to homeless people who’ve been on the streets for years before they’ve received treatment for drug or alcohol problems or mental illness may not sound like a wise idea. But that’s what’s being done in cities across America in an approach that targets those who’ve been homeless the longest and are believed to be at greatest risk of dying, especially with all of this cold weather.

They’re people who once might have been viewed as unreachable. But cities and counties affiliated with a movement known as the 100,000 Homes Campaign have so far managed to get 80,000 of them off the streets. Local governments and non-profit groups do most of the work. The money comes mostly from existing federal programs and private donations, and there’s evidence that this approach saves taxpayers money.

Notice that the motive here is money saved, and not something of higher value, such as LOVE!


Hey, as long as it gets done!!!



Former Republican Presidential Nominee Jon Huntsman started it in Utah and it was actually saving money.



If we seized Anderson Vanderbilt Cooper’s inherited billions, we could house everyone. Let’s do it!


In general, I support the concept behind Habitat for Humanity; since this is moreso an advocacy piece / op ed, rather than a neutral article, I can’t tell how this idea stacks up against that concept.

Having said that, if I was a landlord and had occupancy issues with some of my apartments, I wouldn’t necessarily mind renting some of them to such a program under the following circumstances:

  • The people who would be occupying these apartments do not exactly have a good credit rating, so I would need to have somebody act as guarantor so that the term of the lease was paid out. I would not want my places occupied by squatters.

  • Since a high percentage of the homeless have drug/alcohol problems, I would need to have some of assurance that my place wouldn’t have an excessive amount of damage that would need to be repaired upon their departure. So, again, I would want to have some sort of additional deposit paid to cover damage (above what I’d want for a renter with good references)

  • Also, as a landlord, I would need to have some sort of protection for my other renters that their quality of life would not be negatively impacted. A drunk or a druggie in the hallways is not going to inspire people to want to stay in my apartments. So I would want to have an understanding of what was going to happen with them: are they going to be screened properly to determine if rehab is needed? If so, are they going to receive some sort of rehab? Are they going to be put through some sort of job training? Are they going to be given assistance in finding regular employment?

If I was a landlord, I would have a responsibility to all the people who rent my units. It would be utterly unfair and a breach of commutative justice if I negatively impact their quality of life by leasing a unit to somebody who is not properly screened and, in this case, hand-held…at least, until he/she/they have demonstrated that they can stand on their own.


Necessary therapy would need to be made for the homeless individuals so they can adapt to their new housing. But increased tolerance would need to be made in their behalf. You cannot expect these people to be perfect tenants. It will never happen without plenty of therapy that would probably cost more than the housing itself.


The big question for me is the impact on other tenants. Commutative justice must be served with them.


Sometimes “it’s the Christian thing to do” falls on deaf ears, “it saves money” seems to reach a wider audience.

Even in San Francisco it saves money and that’s an extremely mild climate


If the landlord doesn’t live there, it probably wouldn’t motivate him to screen thoroughly all such renters. Just saying.


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