There are about 6,500 homeless people in Santa Clara County on any given night. About one-third are classified as “chronically homeless,” like Hyatt was. Too often, they shuffle between the streets, emergency rooms and jails. Their problems frequently worsen, and the costs add up. The county spent $3 billion on homeless services from 2007 to 2012; 5 percent of the homeless accounted for almost half the spending – an average of more than $100,000 a year.
Gary Graves, the county’s chief operating officer, wanted its programs to measurably improve the lives of the homeless and become more accountable. So it’s no surprise the county is the first in California to embark on a bold new social experiment to help the chronically homeless. .