In 2014 alone, one hundred American cities have banned sitting or lying down in public places, therefore criminalizing those without a roof over their head. As documented in the short video by Brave New Films, Salt Lake City decided to give homeless people supportive shelter instead of throwing them in jail–resulting not only in an extraordinary amount of savings on tax dollars but also returning respect back to those who were living on the street.
The city was spending $20,000 per homeless resident per year – funding for policing, arrests, jail time, shelter, and emergency services. Homelessness was not going down. Instead, for $7,800 a year through a new program called Housing First, the city could provide a person with an apartment and case management services.
Click here to read the article “Here’s What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail” on AlterNet.org or click here to learn more about the Housing First program on PathwaysToHousing.org.