A great number of people who suffer from long-term homelessness also suffer from mental illness and addiction. In fact, according to the 2015 Wilder Research Study on Homelessness specifically for Hennepin County in Minnesota: 54.6% of people experiencing homelessness have a mental illness, 18.3% have a substance abuse problem, and 15.8% have a dual mental illness and chemical dependency diagnosis.
In our last newsletter, we shared that people experiencing long-term homelessness are more likely to succeed when they have the ability to move into Permanent Supportive Housing (affordable housing with support services). A person is more successful in
retaining Permanent Supportive Housing once they have treated and/or are treating their mental illness and/or chemical dependency. Addressing and treating mental illness and chemical dependency helps people become better tenants with their landlords, a better neighbor and community member. They become more prepared to address other barriers like education and employment as they work towards achieving independence.
Dollars and Sense: The Return on Investment for Mental Health and Chemical Dependency Services
In 2015 the Minnesota Department of Human Services found that for every $1 spent on drug treatment services, $12 is returned to society in reductions in drug-related crime, criminal justice costs, and health care costs. Each House of Charity client receiving case management services presents a return on investment of $21,758.