I’m just catching up on some old magazines and came across this column in April 3’s Fortune. It’s about treating the homeless problem as a business one, and in it is this factoid:
The second crucial point is that life on the streets is not cheap. That guy you’ve been passing in the box under the scaffolding costs the city of New York at least $40,000 a year in jail time, shelter costs, emergency room visits, and hospital stays. In Dallas, researchers put the figure at $50,000; in San Diego, as much as $150,000.
So, if I promise not to live on the streets in exchange for $45,000, I would be saving the city $5k. What do you say, City Hall? Deal … or no deal? Openthecase.