The "Cost" of a Caring Society
A new report suggests that my home province could save millions of dollars by ...
Housing the homeless?
The paper - entitled "Housing and Support for Adults With Severe Addictions and/or Mental Illnesses in British Columbia" - says providing non-housing services for such people costs the public system more than $55,000 per year per person.Occasionally I find myself in an argument over social programs such as welfare and the medical system with well-meaning people who say things such as: "Well it's a great idea in theory, but look at the cost."
It says providing adequate housing and supports could reduce this cost to $37,000 per year.
The team of researchers - from SFU, the University of British Columbia and the University of Calgary - says the overall "cost avoidance" of such a plan is about $211 million per year.
In this particular case, the cost would actually be negative. Though in any case, the imagined costs of social programs tend to be overestimated relative to the benefits.
Still, given the track record of the "fiscally prudent" BC Liberals (who in any other province would be considered very conservative indeed), I'm not holding my breath.
Prediction: Lots of government officials, including the Premier, will be photographed opening things having to do with the Olympics.
There will be at least twelve times as many such photos as there will be of ministers opening mental health and addiction treatment centres.