Homeless program saved millions in health costs, says advocate
Edmonton housing program saves $2.2 million, director estimates
A program that helps Edmonton's homeless find housing is saving Alberta's health care system millions of dollars, says the program director.
"Without housing you can not provide treatment and and recovery programming for this population and they've traditionally fallen through the cracks," said Bob Haubrich.
The Boyle McCauley Health Centre's Pathways to Housing finds apartments for the chronically homeless who suffer from addiction and mental illness.
Putting a roof over people's heads means fewer visits to the hospital and less pressure on the health system, said Haubrich.
Haubrich believes they've saved Alberta Health $2.2 million in the past year.
"Our operating budget is $2.1 million so this is a program that pays for itself," he said.
The Pathways to Housing Program is part of the city's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness initiative and is based on a model developed in New York City in the 1990s.