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150 cities now have Housing First program

NEW YORK, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- A New York-based housing activist says he believes he has proved the best way to end homelessness is to give homes to those living on the streets.

Sam Tsemberis' Housing First has become the official policy in 150 cities, CBS News reports. The housing comes with services, including nurses, drug counselors and social workers.

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Tsemberis, head of Pathways to Housing, says that providing housing is cheaper and more effective than letting people stay on the street or in shelters until they have straightened out their lives. Pathways to Housing says it has a success rate of 85 percent.

"Here's a program for $22,000 that gives a person housing and services that end their homelessness and puts them on their way to getting better," he said.

Many local people now agree.

"It's actually cheaper than it is to run the shelter system, and a lot better for the people who are in it," Washington Mayor Adrian Fenty said.

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