Understanding the Allegheny County Homeless Population

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DHS examined a cohort of homeless individuals to describe the demographic composition and service utilization of the county’s homeless population, as well as to quantify the costs associated with their care.

Homeless individuals in Allegheny County frequently consume public resources and contribute to a measurable and sizable public expense; the consumption of mental health services by the homeless has the most impact on the overall costs calculated in this study; and there is a small high-end user population that has expenses beyond what would be typically anticipated. These high-end users access more behavioral health services and are incarcerated more frequently than the general homeless population; the number of individuals in this high-end user group (<100) is manageable for targeted services; and the costs associated with their care are sizable enough to offer opportunities for savings.

 

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