IMPACT

Man Who’s Been Homeless 15 Years Gets Apartment, Proves ‘Housing First’ Works

"Housing First" gives homes to homeless individuals, with no strings attached.

Vietnam War veteran Tony Presley, 69, has been without a home for the last 15 years.

As a result of PTSD, he says he has struggled to hold down a job. This created a vicious cycle that caused him to live on the streets of L.A, he tells Ryan Duffy in the latest episode of "Now What," a HuffPost original video series focused on the people helping to solve our most pressing problems.

"When I first became homeless, it was like a kid who gets lost," he said.

Now, Presley has a place to live, thanks to the program "Housing First," which gives homes to homeless individuals, with no strings attached. 

Through the initiative, Presley has been assigned a case manager and a voucher for half his rent, and he is searching for apartments in North Hollywood. 

The public costs for one homeless individual add up to about $30,000-40,000 per year, the "Now  What" segment points out. Housing First saves money after the up-front cost of providing homes. The alternatives, from detox programs to jail, are far more costly in the long run.

The episode also highlights other homeless support programs already in place -- from mental health services to addiction counseling to job training. But advocates point out that these initiatives are "wraparound services," aimed to work in conjunction with the fundamental provision of a home above all else. 

Watch the entire Now What segment above. 

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