Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » No state funding for a program that works
SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax      Advertise Here      About     Exclusive Subscriber Content     Updated Posts    Contact Rich Miller
To subscribe to Capitol Fax, click here.
No state funding for a program that works

Friday, Aug 19, 2016 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From Catholic Charities…

Hi, Rich -

I hope you are doing well! Wanted to send you a blog post idea related to the continued state budget mess.

Catholic Charities just completed a major study with the University of Notre Dame that was featured in the Journal of Science last week. It proves that homeless prevention programs work and save tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars per person. However, the State budget impasse continues to threaten funding to this program. In fact, last year none of the funds were released and we have yet to receive funds for this fiscal year, putting thousands of Chicagoans in danger of becoming homeless.

We are the only city in the country where this study could be conducted because of our linked databases with those who call the homeless prevention call center and the shelter system.

The study shows that those individuals and families who receive short term homeless prevention financial assistance are more than 70% less likely to enter a shelter within 6 months than those who do not receive the assistance. This program works yet funds are not being released from the state.

* Science Magazine

If someone is about to become homeless, giving them a single cash infusion, averaging about $1000, may be enough to keep them off the streets for at least 2 years. That’s the conclusion of a new study, which finds that programs that proactively assist those in need don’t just help the victims—they may benefit society as a whole. […]

Homelessness isn’t just bad for its sufferers—it shortens life span and hurts kids in school—it’s a burden on everyone else. Previous studies have concluded that a single period of homelessness can cost taxpayers $20,000 or more, in the form of welfare, policing, health care, maintaining homeless shelters, and other expenses. To combat homelessness, philanthropic organizations have either tried to prevent people from losing their homes in the first place or help them regain housing after they are already destitute. But there aren’t many data on whether giving cash to people on the brink of becoming homeless actually prevents them from living on the street.

So economist James Sullivan of the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, took advantage of a natural experiment. Funding for homelessness prevention programs is highly unpredictable, and thus many programs are often temporarily unable to give money to people about to lose their homes, even if they qualify for the assistance. That allowed him and his colleagues to compare the eventual fate of individuals and families who called into a homelessness prevention call center in Chicago, Illinois, when funds were available versus those who called when funds were not.

The programs work by giving one-time cash quantities to people on the brink of homelessness who can demonstrate that they will be able to pay rent by themselves in the future, but who have been afflicted by some nonrecurring crisis, such as a medical bill. Recipients need to be able to demonstrate consistent future income, and the amount given needs to actually cover their housing expenses for the month. The average amount paid out, according to Sullivan, is about $1000.

The team tracked the two groups for several months. Those who called when funding was available—and received the cash infusion—were 88% less likely to become homeless after 3 months and 76% less likely after 6 months, the researchers report today in Science. “We found no evidence that this effect fades away,” Sullivan says. “There is evidence that it’s a sustained impact up to 2 years later.”

Although it might seem obvious that giving people money would keep them off the street, many antiwelfare critics have argued that such charity only prolongs the decline into homelessness. But that appears not to be the case, Sullivan says.

The study is here.

* From a Catholic Charities press release

In a groundbreaking new study conducted in Chicago and published last Thursday in the Journal of Science, it is revealed that when homeless prevention funds are available, an individual’s chance of becoming homeless within 6 months is reduced by 76 percent. The study proves that a minimal investment averaging $2,400 per person to prevent someone from becoming homeless saves more than $20,000 per person, per year in taxpayer funds that are needed to support a person in a shelter and with other services.

However, the State budget impasse has meant funding for homeless prevention programs is in limbo and more than $1 million in preventive funding was not available in fiscal year 2016. In Chicago, homeless prevention funds are disbursed to dozens of agencies through All Chicago, which receives about $2 million per year in funding, more than $1 million of which comes from the State of Illinois. In 2014, homeless prevention funds ensured 5,000 individuals and families did not become homeless. Because of the state budget impasse, that number was reduced to 3,000 last year. […]

The study followed 4,500 Chicago individuals and families from 2010 – 2012. The callers who received funding were significantly less likely to enter a shelter within 6 months. In particular:

    Those calling when funds are available are 76 percent less likely to enter a shelter within 6 months
    Those calling when funds are available spend 2.1 fewer days in a shelter over a 6 month period
    Callers with especially low incomes (those with incomes below $750 per month) who call when funds are available are 88 percent less likely to enter a shelter



  1. - Norseman - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 10:43 am:

    But how does this help us kill unions? Asks the Rauner administration.

  2. - anon - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 10:44 am:

    So if compassion isn’t sufficient reason to fund these programs, then saving tax dollars should be. How about it compassionate conservative budget hawks?

  3. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 10:50 am:

    As far as “business decisions” go, Diana Rauner thinks Catholic Charities should sue the state then have the Pritzkers cover the mess up for Diana.

    To the Post,

    The Rauner Administration made it clear, well before Candidate Rauner existed… destroy unions, save social services. No destroying unions, social services will be squeezed so tight that whatever IS left… probably deserved to exist after the Darwinism of… Raunerism.

    These programs are measured by successes not by balance sheet totals framed by union busting equality of worth.

    Speaks volumes to the true meaning of no social agenda.

  4. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 11:11 am:

    “In fact, last year none of the funds were released and we have yet to receive funds for this fiscal year,…”

    Rauner intentionally drive the State into the ditch when he froze all contracts in 2015. Then the red line changes to the contract language that payment could be somewhat “whimsical” (my snark) for 2016 and 2017 contracts- but, still do the work or stand to lose any current or future funding possibilities.
    He’s not about to pay for a “tow truck”, so if the GA feels these programs are important AND vital to Illinois, Rauner bucks or not, they are going to have to do the heavy lifting.

  5. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 11:16 am:

    Can we get the raw numbers? What were the odds on the people going into a shelter with no intervention? If 30 out of a hundred went in with no intervention and only 7 out of a hundred went in with intervention then 23 were kept out at a cost of $100,000. (using the dollar amount in the story) If only 10 out of a hundred were going into shelters without intervention and 3 with intervention, then the same $100,000 saves 7 people instead of 23.

    The logic behind the intervention is consistent with my view of reality, my concern is with the way the results were reported.

  6. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 11:44 am:

    LBM, go ahead and write a letter to the American Association for the Advancement of Science sharing your “concern” with “the way the results were reported.”

    I’m sure they’ll take all of your specific, very-informed criticism to heart.

  7. - Anon221 - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 11:51 am:

    Here’s some facts and figures LBM from Sept 2015. Think it’s gotten better since???

  8. - Langhorne - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 12:32 pm:

    But, but, term limits polls great!!
    No budget, no pay! (Fn 22: no reforms, no budget)

  9. - @MisterJayEm - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 12:35 pm:

    “The State budget impasse has meant funding for homeless prevention programs is in limbo and more than $1 million in preventive funding was not available in fiscal year 2016.” — Catholic Charities, August 15, 2016

    “In Illinois there’s been a long-time history of what I would call social service, social justice, a bigger role for government in the safety net than in many other states. I think we can drive a wedge issue in the Democratic Party on that topic” — Bruce Rauner, September 18, 2012.

    This is Rauner’s plan.

    This is Rauner’s ONLY plan.

    This has ALWAYS been Rauner’s only plan.

    – MrJM

  10. - Last Bull Moose - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 12:40 pm:

    My comment was not opposing the program but a technical point on the reporting of the results. I did not want to pay the $105 fee for a membership to see the full study. I expect that the data is reported there.

    The structure of the analysis was quite clever. They managed to get a random trial without having to make any decisions about who got the services.

    Do I think it is better? Not for the providers and the people who this intervention would help. With Obamacare and a slowly improving economy, there may be fewer people who could be helped. But I do not think there has been any significant change yet. That would take economic growth sufficient to make wages at the lower level rise. I have seen few signs of that.

  11. - Matt Vernau - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 2:34 pm:

    LBM good comeback CBH probably just forgot that scientific journals don’t publish articles on “failed” studies and end up wishing they had not published others. The catholic charity folks are as good as we can find. Trust but verify when ever funding is involved.

  12. - Muscular - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 3:25 pm:

    The study sounds great. The problem is how to pay for it all. Does Kentucky or Indiana have this program? Both have lower taxes and more economic growth than Illinois. The democrats spend the Tax dollars for the special interests not for the neediest citizens.

  13. - Demoralized - Friday, Aug 19, 16 @ 4:29 pm:

    ==Does Kentucky or Indiana have this program?==

    What difference does that make?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

* Illinois react (Updated)
* Reader comments closed for the weekend
* Isabel’s afternoon roundup (Updated x2)
* Keep calm and Dolt-on
* Saying the quiet part out loud (Updated)
* Study: Illinois has the most diverse cannabis business ownership in the US (Updated)
* Open thread
* Isabel’s morning briefing
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Supplement to today’s edition
* SUBSCRIBERS ONLY - Today's edition of Capitol Fax (use all CAPS in password)
* Live coverage
* Selected press releases (Live updates)
* Yesterday's stories

Visit our advertisers...






Main Menu
Pundit rankings
Subscriber Content
Blagojevich Trial
Updated Posts

July 2024
June 2024
May 2024
April 2024
March 2024
February 2024
January 2024
December 2023
November 2023
October 2023
September 2023
August 2023
July 2023
June 2023
May 2023
April 2023
March 2023
February 2023
January 2023
December 2022
November 2022
October 2022
September 2022
August 2022
July 2022
June 2022
May 2022
April 2022
March 2022
February 2022
January 2022
December 2021
November 2021
October 2021
September 2021
August 2021
July 2021
June 2021
May 2021
April 2021
March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004

Blog*Spot Archives
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005


RSS Feed 2.0
Comments RSS 2.0

Hosted by MCS SUBSCRIBE to Capitol Fax Advertise Here Mobile Version Contact Rich Miller