Report highlights £300m of saving generated by homelessness charity

Report highlights £300m of saving generated by homelessness charity

Janet Haugh, CEO of Right There

A study into the impact of Scottish charity Right There has revealed it generates over £300 million of savings every year for the public purse, through its unique approach to preventing and tackling homelessness.

As Scotland’s national housing crisis deepens, the report, entitled “The difference Right There makes” takes a social return on investment approach to impact evaluation, and sets out how much Right There’s work saves the taxpayer through the likes of long-term health and social care, unemployment benefits, emergency accommodation and by helping to stop people’s problems from worsening.

It has been carried out in the context of the current landscape of economic, political, social, and environmental factors that have and are continuing to shape the third and public sectors, to show the social benefit to society achieved through the charity’s work.

Right There, formerly part of the YMCA movement, has provided practical assistance, advocacy, and empowerment for 200 years, assisting individuals facing tough times. The charity is built on the principle of meeting people where they are without judgement and walking alongside them, tailoring support to their ever-changing needs from providing safe homes to emotional wellbeing and family support as well as community outreach.

In addition to implementing programmes or interventions, Right There stands by individuals, offering unwavering life-improving support and a helping hand when they need it most. That includes accessing medical help, guiding them toward employment opportunities and, ultimately, a secure long-term home.

Through creating five archetypes, based on a series of ‘typical’ storylines about the lives of people that Right There helps, the study has mapped out the journey that supported individuals take, selecting relevant and realistic metrics to measure the impact of the charity as a financial cost to the public purse, had those individuals not been supported by Right There.

Savings that have been measured in the report include the cost of NHS treatment for issues such as substance use and poor mental health; the avoidance of future interactions with the criminal justice system; the benefits of individuals moving into longer-term, more sustainable accommodation and savings to the Scottish economy in supporting individuals towards employment.

Janet Haugh, CEO of Right There, said: “As a charity we are driven by the desire to help individuals, one person at a time. Our support is tailored to each person, and we pledge to be right there for as long as it takes. To see the impact of our support defined in such large financial terms is quite overwhelming.

“Right There is saving taxpayers in excess of £300m annually through relieving pressure on NHS and social care costs, unemployment benefits and emergency accommodation.

“At a time when Scotland’s housing crisis is intensifying, budget cuts are increasing and the prediction that homelessness will increase by a third by 2026, compound just how critical our work is and the social benefits it delivers for society as a whole.”

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