PLANET MONEY
Counting The Homeless
May 17, 20199:26 PM ET
SARAH GONZALEZ
SALLY HELM
22-Minute Listen
Volunteers count homeless people on Skid Row.
David McNew/Getty Images
New York City is legally obligated to find a bed for every person who needs one, every night of the year.
So, when homeless shelters fill up, the city turns to the next best thing: Hotels. The city spends millions renting out entire blocks of hotel rooms.
But it doesn't have to be this way. Research suggests that the most cost-effective way to address homelessness may not be investing in temporary shelters or hotels, but providing rental assistance.
Today on the show, we trace three efforts to address homelessness in America. Including one of the most obvious yet thorniest challenges to getting people off the street: Counting the homeless.
Music: "You Got Me Started," "Spinning Piano," "Pyramid Thoughts,"and "Road to Cevennes."
Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Instagram / Newsletter
Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Pocket Casts and NPR One.
Correction
May 21, 2019
A previous version of this show stated that Phoenix had housed every homeless veteran. But according to Community Solutions, although there is funding to house all veterans, not every homeless veteran has been housed.
See Planet Money sponsors and promo codes
Subscribe to the Planet Money Podcast
APPLE PODCASTS
GOOGLE PODCASTS
SPOTIFY
RSS
More Stories From NPR
ECONOMY
Predictions!
ECONOMY
How Uncle Jamie Broke Jeopardy (Update)
ECONOMY
Used Car Talk
ECONOMY
How Stuff Gets Cheaper (Classic)
ECONOMY
Amateur Hour at the Supreme Court
HISTORY
Black Wall Street
Popular on NPR.org
SPACE
Tens Of Thousands Sign Petition To Stop Jeff Bezos From Returning To Earth
LAW
The Supreme Court Sides With NCAA Athletes In A Narrow Ruling
ECONOMY
Cargo Is Piling Up Everywhere, And It's Making Inflation Worse
FAMILY
Dad Draws On Maori Roots To Raise 3 Resilient Sons. Step 1: Send Them On A Milk Run
AUTHOR INTERVIEWS
A Father's Day Gift From Meghan To Harry Is Now A Kids' Book
WEATHER
The Record Temperatures Enveloping The West Are Not Your Average Heat Wave
NPR Editors' Picks
WORLD
A Russian Man Has Been Charged In The Death Of U.S. Student Catherine Serou
HEALTH
In Health Care, More Money Is Being Spent On Patients' Social Needs. Is It Working?
SPORTS
New Zealand Weightlifter Will Be The First Openly Trans Competitor At The Olympics
BUSINESS
Prime Day Is Here. Watch Out For Fake Reviews
ENVIRONMENT
As Seagrass Habitats Decline, Florida Manatees Are Dying Of Starvation
MUSIC REVIEWS
Julius Eastman, A Misunderstood Composer, Returns To The Light
READ & LISTEN
Home
News
Arts & Life
Music
Podcasts
Programs
CONNECT
Newsletters
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Press
Contact & Help
ABOUT NPR
Overview
Diversity
Ethics
Finances
Public Editor
Corrections
GET INVOLVED
Support Public Radio
Sponsor NPR
NPR Careers
NPR Shop
NPR Events
NPR Extra
terms of use
privacy
your privacy choices
text only
© 2021 npr
NPR logoNPR 50 years logoNPR 50 years logoDONATECHANGESign in or registerNPR ShopDONATEHomeNewsNationalWorldPoliticsBusinessHealthScienceTechnologyRace & CultureArts & LifeBooksMoviesTelevisionPop CultureFoodArt & DesignPerforming ArtsLife KitMusic Tiny Desk All Songs Considered Music News New Music Music Features Live Sessions Shows & Podcasts Morning Edition Weekend Edition Saturday Weekend Edition Sunday All Things Considered Fresh Air Up First No Compromise On Our Watch Throughline Rough Translation More Shows & PodcastsSearchNPR ShopNPR MusicNPR Music Tiny Desk All Songs Considered Music News New Music Music Features Live Sessions About NPRDiversityOrganizationSupportCareersConnectPressEthics