Let’s use health care dollars for homelessness

Thanks to the Santa Cruz Homeless Services Center for taking actions that address homelessness. They have housed nearly 600 people in permanent supportive housing through the 180/2020 program, beginning in 2012.

At the event that celebrated this milestone, Dr. Josh Bamberger from the San Francisco Department of Public Health shared this message: We are often overwhelmed by the substance abuse, mental illness and chronic medical problems we find on our streets, but there is a prescription to treat this epidemic. It is called Housing First, which is tapping into health care funding to provide housing. We need to explore this as a way to address this public health problem. Santa Cruz needs to be smart and use the current proven methods to keep our citizens healthy and safe.

Remember this quote from Shaun Donovan, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in 2012: “It costs less to house homeless people than to leave them on the street and in shelters.”

— Patrice Boyle, Santa Cruz

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