Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, 2013

This report offers an assessment on the economic impacts of the Frequent User Service Enhancement (FUSE) supportive housing program in New York City. The FUSE intervention offered supportive housing apartments to roughly 200 homeless people who had both four jail and four shelter stays over the previous five years. This report compares the behavioral patterns and data associated with 60 FUSE tenants with 70 comparable individuals who were not enrolled in FUSE. The authors gathered data on these individuals over the course of two years.

They found that, after 12 months, 91% of FUSE participants remained house while just 28% of the comparison group was in housing. Regarding homeless shelter use, FUSE tenants spent, on average, 146.7 fewer days in shelter over the two-year period. FUSE participants also spent an average of 19.2 fewer days incarcerated – a 40% reduction over the comparison group.

FUSE reduced the annual total costs for inpatient and crisis medical and behavioral healthcare services by $7,308 per person per year. The intervention also reduced the average total costs for shelter and jail use by an estimated $8,372 per person per 12-month period. For FUSE participants, the total per person average cost of shelter and jails went from $38,351 in the 24 months prior to FUSE to $9,143 in the 24 months after FUSE – a 76% reduction.

This report also offers similar data on tenant substance use, mental health status, health functioning and crisis care service use. It was written by Angela A. Aidala, PhD, William McAlister, PhD, Maiko Yomogida and Virginia Shubert.

Download The Frequent User Service Enhancement Initiative: New York City FUSE II

Research category: Cost Savings