Money, Money, Money…

Today’s post is part of the annual A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Each day of April (except Sunday,) we write a post corresponding with that day’s letter of the alphabet. For more information on the challenge and its creator visit:

a-z 2015 M


Today we are 1/2 way through the alphabet!


My theme for this years’ A-Z Challenge is An Intimate Look at the Homeless and Mental Health Epidemic in America which just happens to be the subtitle of my next book, The Stranger in My Recliner. The book is the true story of Sophie.  She was the eighty-year-old homeless woman that my husband brought home one night. She lived with us for nearly three –years. The book will be out this fall.


Money, Money, Money

How much does homelessness cost taxpayers and how much will it cost to eradicate the homeless problem?

If you have been following my A-Z Challenge posts you know that I get so frustrated when people choose to complicate the answer to the problem of homelessness.

Homeless people need homes, period. Once they have a home they are not homeless and the problem is solved, period.

A lot of government officials, churches and charity’s still believe that raising and spending millions of tax payer and private dollars on shelters, referral agencies and programs makes perfect sense. It makes no sense at all. I think the truth is those people believe it is easier to control homeless people when they are all living under one roof. It reminds me of the way minorities were housed not that many shameful years ago. Let’s keep them all in one area so we can keep an eye on them.

progect housing

The fact is a homeless person living on the street can cost up to $80,000 a year. The costs comes from emergency room visits, hospital stays, jail stays, first responders, addiction treatment, mental health treatment and state or county assistance.

To house a homeless person in a shelter for a year the cost averages around $42,000 a year. Because they have a roof over their head and are eating more regularly they do not get as sick. Shelters are expensive to run so a lot of the cost is administrative but don’t get me started on that foolishness.

To place a homeless person in an apartment would cost $9,600 a year. To provide them with a social worker is $2000 a year (social worker makes $40,000 a year and has 20 clients.) Add $1000 a month for expenses and we are up to $23,600 a year.

Kudos to, Beyonce for realizing that homes are the answer and donating 7 million dollars over many years in the Houston area as part of that city’s 100,000 homes campaign. Her and her husband Jay Z are brilliant business people. They were not going to throw their money at the problem and hope it helped. They solved the problem.

Beyonce’s-Temenos Place Apartments has space available for 43 individuals, and houses men and women who otherwise would likely be homeless. The facility supports its residents by providing meals, job readiness training, HIV/AIDS screenings and case management services, with an overall goal for residents to reach full self-sufficiency.

Beyonces homeless apartments

Houston has seen significant progress in its fight against homelessness. A 2014 Houston Homeless Count showed that on a given night about 5,351 people in the city were living without stable shelter — a 37 percent drop from 2011.

There are so many misconceptions about the homeless. The most ridiculous to me are they choose to live on the streets and they deserve to be there.  Being homeless is terrifying and dehumanizing. The one thing a homeless person might have left is pride and that pride makes it difficult for them to ask for help.

To learn more about Beyonce’s, project or to donate:

Thank you for reading,


I’m one of Lisa’s Live Wires! Lisa is a challenge co-host Lisa Buie-Collard

My fellow live wires:

Rhonda Albom –   Bob R. Milne –   Tamera Narayan –  Stephanie Faris –   Heather McCubbin –   Randi Lee



A-Z 2015 Minion Badge

17 Responses to “Money, Money, Money…”

  • I’m not sure having them housed together started out being about control, from my research, I found areas that offer cheap housing/rent tend to be located together and in areas of town others don’t want to live and so by default we have groups of landlords who are willing to rent to those groups of people through assistance with groups like our Homeless Families Foundation. In this area the number I’ve seen quoted as the average number of homeless a night is 12,000 and with the temps we get in Ohio in winter, that’s brutal. But, we’re making headway. Homeless Families Foundation’s goal is to keep the family together, get them from shelter living to housing as quickly as possible and to provide job search assistance and training, they also transport the kids to and from school, have after school tutoring to try and keep the kids current with their studies. It’s a good program, but limited based on space and funds. Everytime I see empty buildings I wonder why they couldn’t be utilized to house people. Right you are the segregated areas, like the projects where a mistake and slowly that is changing, again finding them affordable housing blended into society. An early report I read about part of theory about the projects, and having folks together was so they could help each other. Share rides, take turns babysitting while one worked, another would babysit. Sounds good, but I guess it simply didn’t work and even in tough areas like Baltimore and St. Louis’s projects are being razed.

  • When you add up all the money, it surely makes so much more sense, economically, emotionally and health-wise, to create homes. I never realized the impact of these numbers.

  • It’s good to see some of the 1% giving back. Perhaps they’ll all follow suit — if they have any pride. 😉

  • You are so right Doreen, greed and stinginess costs us so much more, in so many ways, than caring for our fellow humans would!

  • Karen:

    Sounds like a good program.

  • Cheers to Houston, Beyonce and her project!!

    As my husband and I watched the news the other night, there was a story on all the old planes that are being retired and sent to the “plane graveyard” to waste away. I told my husband they should dismantle the wheels and clear out the things and place in the inner cities as domiciles for the homeless. He chuckled but, hey, people have been making homes out of old buses for years. Why not planes, too!?

  • Hubby and I often talk about how inefficient the government is at cost-effectively dealing with this stuff. Great post today.

  • Those numbers are astounding! I see all of these houses sitting empty that have been foreclosed and it just dumbfounds me. Most sitting until they are destroyed from neglect and how many people would love to just have a roof over their heads.

  • Wow! I never knew any of this. You are a plethora of great info, Doreen. If we can keep the politicians out of it….it will be solved. So proud of Houston! If they can do it …. yeah!

  • Great post. Sometimes problems can easily be solved…just get the damned politics out of it!

  • What a wonderful post, Doreen. I had no idea about Beyonce and Jay Z’s project. How wonderful of them. When visiting family in Houston I only see the posh, ridiculously gigantic homes called conspicuous consumption! Those people should also give to the homeless (perhaps some do) to help in Beyonce’s efforts. Oh, to solve the problems of the world, one person at a time.

  • It good to hear about a project that is working, even if it only helps a handful of people. I hope Beyonce inspires others to start similar efforts.

  • What a wonderful accomplishment in Houston! I’m on my way to donate!

  • Your Little Feet story is adorable. Thanks for the info on Beyonce and the housing project. Way to make a real difference!

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