MHSA’s Home & Healthy for Good (HHG) initiative is at the forefront of a significant paradigm shift in how Massachusetts addresses the costly phenomenon of homelessness, particularly for chronically homeless individuals and individuals who represent the highest usage of emergency public services. HHG continues to demonstrate that providing housing and supportive services to chronically homeless individuals through a low-threshold, Housing First model is less costly and more effective than managing their homelessness and health problems on the street or in shelter.
Since 2006, HHG has placed 960 chronically homeless adults into permanent housing with supportive services.
HHG results show a trend toward tremendous savings in health care costs, especially hospitalizations, when chronically homeless individuals are placed into housing with services. Once in housing, individuals are safer than they were on the streets or in shelter, experiencing fewer accidents and injuries that require immediate attention.
With access to supportive services through HHG, formerly homeless individuals no longer need to rely on public emergency services as their primary sources of care. Instead, tenants are able to utilize mainstream systems of preventative and primary health care, better coordinate with mental health providers, and maintain consistent permanent tenancy rather than using more costly public systems, such as emergency shelters and detox facilities.
Housing is a cost-effective and humane solution to homelessness — one that brings stability to individuals’ lives, regardless of their health histories or personal challenges.
Highlights of the March 2017 HHG Report
Since HHG was founded in 2006, 960 formerly chronically homeless people have been placed into permanent housing with supportive services. The estimated annual costs per person decreased after housing placement, resulting in an estimated annual savings of $13,531 per person.
HHG conducts quality-of-life follow-up interviews with tenants who are housed in the program. As of March 2017, 93 percent of all responses indicated an improvement in tenants’ quality of life after being housed in the program.