On July 15, 2015, CommonWealth Magazine published an op-ed written by Joe Finn, President & Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance, and Michael K. Durkin, President of United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley. The piece highlights the Commonwealth’s recently launched Pay for Success initiative to place up to 800 chronically homeless individuals in permanent supportive housing.
First announced in December 2014, this initiative marks the implementation of Massachusetts’ second pay for success model. The program expands upon the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance’s flexible funding approach to permanent supportive housing, which is called Home & Healthy for Good. That program has significantly lowered the Commonwealth’s public emergency expenses by securing long-term housing and supportive services for more than 800 chronically homeless individuals since 2006.
We know that the housing first model works and that it saves the state money; average Medicaid, shelter, and incarceration costs drop significantly once a chronically homeless individual has a stable place to live and access to support services.