“We should be writing a prescription for housing”
Dr. Mitchell Katz has helped keep thousands of people out of hospitals and prisons — by writing them a prescription for housing. Throughout his interview with CBC, he shared many important facts supporting his reasoning. He told CBC that he had started as a public health doctor that worked in a hospital that took care of a lot of homeless people. After a while, he realized just how much money was going into homeless care when in reality all they truly needed was a sheltered place to stay.
When we take care of people who are homeless we end up spending up to $50,000 then sending them back into the street – not changing the arch of their life and the bigger picture. “Instead of long hospitalizations, what we should do for sick people that are homeless is house them.”
Dr. Mitchel Katz was able to accomplish 4000 housing units by taking this hospital budget and putting it into a housing program.
As he brings this issue to Toronto, he does touch on the fact that our housing rate is at a bare minimum of 1%. He mentions there are ways to get around it such as modern building techniques, like modular units made from shipping containers providing a shorter build time and stackable units. “We can easily build 200 square foot micro units which can include a living room, kitchen, and bathroom – a space of which could provide shelter and a refund of their dignity.”
With an average homeless person getting $50,000 worth of care, instead, we can house 50 homeless people and avoid the cycle of sicknesses and diseases caused by living in the streets.
Listen to the full interview here: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1334702147587
Pictures from Shipping Container Village in Bristol – helping homeless people off the street: https://www.bristolpost.co.uk/news/bristol-news/new-container-village-created-help-747654