Silicon Valley Homelessness a $520 million problem

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – San Jose community leaders are hearing results Tuesday of a new homelessness study that shows people living on the streets cost the public about $520 million annually.

The San Jose Mercury News reports the report produced by the Los Angeles-based Economic Roundtable on behalf of Santa Clara County and nonprofit organization Destination: Home found that emergency room visits and stays in jail or mental health facilities contribute to the costs.

A housing first model of helping persistently homeless people may be more cost-effective than delivering services piecemeal, but Santa Clara county chief operating officer Gary Graves says a premium on housing means public and private resources need to come together to solve the problem.

He said he hopes the report will draw attention and urgency to the issue.

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