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    Costs and Offsets of Providing Supportive Housing to Break the Homelessness-Jail Cycle

    The Urban Institute

    Year: 2021

    Without housing and services, people caught in a revolving door of homelessness, police interactions, and jail stays also frequent detoxification centers, emergency departments, and other emergency services. This negative cycle affects their well-being and comes at an enormous cost to taxpayers. In 2016, the City and County of Denver launched the Denver Supportive Housing Social Impact Bond Initiative (Denver SIB) to shift resources from expensive emergency services to more permanent, affordable housing and supportive services that can be difficult to fund without up-front capital. The initiative aimed to increase housing stability and decrease jail stays for people trapped in the homelessness-jail cycle. The Urban Institute, as the evaluation partner for the Denver SIB, tracked the implementation of the initiative and evaluated the efficacy of supportive housing between 2016 and 2020. Supportive housing services were provided by Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) and the Mental Health Center of Denver (MHCD). This report details the costs of supportive housing provided by the Denver SIB and the costs and cost offsets associated with supportive housing’s effects on outcomes across the housing and homelessness assistance, criminal justice, and health care systems.

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