Cook County Health is committing $1 million towards the Chicago and Cook County Flexible Housing Pool, a partnership between CCH, the City of Chicago , the Chicago Housing Authority and the Housing Authority of Cook County.
The goal of the Flexible Housing Pool is to rapidly house vulnerable homeless individuals and connecting them with housing and supportive services. Research shows that housing homeless individuals decreases emergency room visits by nearly 61 percent and health care costs by 59 percent. Providing permanent housing to chronically homeless individuals and families allows these residents to have increased access to preventive health care, which reduces costs on the County to provide more expensive emergency room charity care.
Currently, Cook County Health System treats 83 percent of the single adult homeless population in Chicago, as identified through a data match between Cook County Health records and the Chicago Homeless Management Information System. The Flexible Housing Pool program works with more than 28 partners to identify clients who frequently utilize Emergency Department services, are living with chronic medical conditions and are experiencing chronic homelessness in order to connect them to housing and other supportive services. Thanks to these efforts, in 2018, 245 participating households were stably housed for 12 months or longer.