In 2015, Destination: Home and the County of Santa Clara released the largest and most comprehensive study assembled in the United States to understand the true cost of homelessness in Santa Clara County. The report titled “Home Not Found,” analyzed nearly 25 million public records to identify the annual cost of homelessness in this community. Additionally, the report outlined the cost of services provided to more than 100,000 county residents wrestling with long and short term homelessness.
The study found that more than $3 billion of County services were used by 104,206 homeless residents between 2007 and 2012. This equated to a cost averaging $520 million per year. Medical diagnoses and the associated health care services were the largest component of homeless residents’ overall public costs. The second largest component of the overall cost of homelessness was associated with justice system involvement. The community in Santa Clara County has a significant opportunity to invest in preventative services that better serve the population and provide long term solutions to the homeless population.