Cost of Homelessness in Canada
Homelessness costs at least $2 billion per year in Canada.
According to a 2001 study , the combined service and shelter costs for an average homeless person in Canada are $10,000 higher than the combined service and housing costs for an average housed person. Using these figures, and a national estimate of 200,000 homeless people (a very low estimate) , the federal government is needlessly spending some $2 billion dollars per year, just by allowing the homeless to remain un-housed.
$10,000 per homeless person per year 
X 200,000 homeless in Canada (very low estimate) 
=$2 billion spent needlessly per year
But . . . according to a recent study in 2009, the cost of allowing someone to remain homeless in Canada rather than house them is much higher - $20,000 higher, in fact . Using these figures, and a more accurate national estimate of 300,000 homeless people, the federal government is needlessly spending some $6 billion dollars per year, just by allowing the homeless to remain un-housed.
$20,000 per homeless person per year 
X 300,000 homeless in Canada (accurate estimate) 
=$6 billion spent needlessly per year
If those figures aren't shocking enough, here are a couple more:
Between 1993 and 2004, Canadian taxpayers spent an estimated $49.5 billion maintaining the status quo on the homeless problem in Canada. 
It costs $48,000 a year to leave someone out on the street. It costs $28,000 a year to house them. 
The numbers speak for themselves. Besides the human impact of this national homeless emergency, the financial impact is reason enough for change.
Support Bill C-304.
 "Homelessness - Causes and Effects, Volume 3: The Costs of Homelessness in British Columbia. Ministry of Social Development and Economic Security," Eberle, Margaret et al., Government of British Columbia, 2001. www.housing.gov.bc.ca/housing/docs/Vol3.pdf
 National Housing and Homeless Network, 2007. www.cmha.ca/citizens/housingENG.pdf
 "IN FROM THE MARGINS: A CALL TO ACTION ON POVERTY, HOUSING, AND HOMELESSNESS," The Standing Committee on Social Affairs, Science and Technology: Report of the Subcommittee on Cities (December 2009). www.parl.gc.ca/40/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/citi-e/subsite-dec09-e/reports-e.htm
 A submission from the Wellesley Institute to the Commons HUMA committee for its review of Bill C-304, November 2009. www.wellesleyinstitute.com/files/billc304wellesleysubmission.pdf
 "SHELTER: Homelessness in a growth economy: Canada’s 21st century paradox." A Report for the Sheldon Chumir Foundation for Ethics in Leadership, 2007. www.chumirethicsfoundation.ca/files/pdf/SHELTER.pdf