Juneau, AK (KINY) - The Housing First Forget Me Not Manor has saved the community money and improved the lives of its 32 residents.
Dr Heidi Brocious of the University of Alaska Fairbanks did a survey on the residents. It found that 95-percent had at least a high school education. It also found the average amount of time the residents had been homeless was 15 years.
"Fifteen years is a really long time to be homeless," says Dr. Brocious, "that number is actually a median, which means we take out those strong outliers. So it really is truly reflective of what most of the group is doing."
She told the Greater Juneau Chamber of Commerce that the ambulance transports were cut in half, contacts with police dropped 72 percent and visits to the emergency room were cut by Two thirds.
We asked her what the biggest surprise was in their findings.
"I am surprised by how significant some of the drops were; I didn't expect to see that ambulance usage was reduced. I know that it was the feeling that it wasn't reducing the number of ambulance uses, but to actually see that level of significance is pretty astounding."
The Housing First Board has also applied for a grant to expand facilities for the homeless for 45 more residents.
If approved the construction could take place in 2019.