Compared to all the shelter options, housing choices are not only more humane, they are also a more effective use of tax payer dollars, and they lead to more permanent housing for the homeless.

Here is a calculator to evaluate the costs of any combination of shelter and housing options:

All cost data are from¬†“Portland homelessness: Mayor Ted Wheeler, interest groups promote competing ideas to lessen crisis,¬†The Oregonian, Mar. 19, 2022.

When shelters are the only offering, the homeless will still be homeless at the end of their stay in shelters. We should prioritize housing first. It is the wiser investment, and it leads to better outcomes for everyone.

UPDATE May 7: here is a one-pager with more details and some example scenarios.