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HuffPost What's Working Honor Roll: Giving Sick, Homeless People Housing Has Major Medical Benefits

06/04/2015 02:28 pm ET | Updated Jun 04, 2015

homeless los angeles county

California is taking major steps to provide housing for sick homeless people. Using Los Angeles County health-care money, officials have already placed about 100 homeless people in the Star Apartments building, which has a medical clinic in house. Residents meet regularly with case managers and medical professionals, and can also participate in health classes, social activities and support groups.

Now, in light of a 12-percent rise in the area's homeless population, California wants permission to use Medicaid money to expand the project.

Studies show that the length of hospital stay and health-care costs for ill homeless people drop dramatically when they are offered housing; in one study, medical costs fell 72 percent for homeless people who were taken off the streets.

"Getting away from the chaos and temptations of the streets and settling in an apartment enables people to begin recovering from whatever led them to become homeless at the start," Marc Trotz, director of the Los Angeles County Housing for Health program, told Kaiser Health News.

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The What’s Working Honor Roll highlights some of the best reporting and analysis, from a range of media outlets, on all the ways people are working toward solutions to some of our greatest challenges. If you know a story you think should be on our Honor Roll, please send an email to our editor Catherine Taibi via catherine.taibi@huffingtonpost.com with the subject line "WHAT'S WORKING."

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