Wednesday April 09, 2014

A groundbreaking study suggests giving homeless Canadians homes first saves money

Listen 7:02
homeless-feature

A scene of homelessness in Vancouver (Photo: CBC)

It's a report that could change the way that homeless people are treated in Canada. Funded by the federal government, "At Home/Chez Soi" is the largest study of its kind, with five years of research conducted in five major cities. It's estimated that more than 150,000 people are homeless across the country, costing Canadians $1.4 billion each year.

The report suggests putting homeless people in housing, even before they have dealt with other problems such as mental illness and addiction, works to improve their lives. And it saves money.

"We have actually landed on something that shows clear evidence of an approach that keeps people in houses and off the streets," Louise Bradley, President and CEO of the Mental Health Commission of Canada, told Carol.

"Not only is it effective for them and the right thing to do," she continued, "we were also able to show that there is actually quite a cost-benefit for doing it as well."

Hear more about the study in Carol's full interview with Louise Bradley by selecting the "Listen" button.