The Cost of Homelessness in NL: An Analysis of Cost Impacts on Public Systems and the Community


According to the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC), some 200,000 people are homeless in Canada each year at an estimated cost of $7 billion. Individuals experiencing homelessness tend to be heavy users of public systems, including healthcare, corrections and emergency shelters. According to the At Home/Chez Soi study conducted by the MHCC, which was released in 2014, investing in Housing First (housing plus wraparound supports) for individuals experiencing homelessness resulted in significant cost savings - for every $10 invested, $9.60 was saved for high needs participants and $3.42 was saved for moderate needs participants, compared to the treatment as usual (TAU) group. For the full study, refer to:

Homelessness looks different in every province and city, due to factors such as weather, local culture and migration. End Homelessness St. John's, the multi-stakeholder committee formed to prevent and end homelessness in St. John's, seeks to learn more about the local costs of homelessness in St. John's and throughout NL, as well as the financial impacts/benefits of addressing homelessness through a Housing First approach compared to the status quo. This information would be used to inform decision-making on how to address homelessness in St. John's and throughout NL and how to effectively invest funding toward the goals of preventing and ending homelessness.

Start date 
18 Apr 2017