The analysis suggests that £1 spent by Centrepoint in intervening during the early stages of homelessness, compared with a similar intervention at a later stage, results in potential costs avoided by the public purse of £2.40. This equates to a net benefit of at least £19,900 per young homeless person.
The potential avoided costs and potential benefits as quantified in this report arise from improved education and lower barriers to securing employment and wages, and thereby higher tax revenue to the Exchequer; less involvement in crime leading to lower costs of the criminal justice system; fewer health problems leading to lower burden on the public healthcare system; and a lower drain on welfare benefits. Throughout the analysis, conservative assumptions have been adopted wherever possible, and other less tangible benefits such as those from the improvement in the quality of life of the young people are not accounted for in the benefits.
This results in a (deliberate) underestimate of the wider benefits that arise from Centerpoint’s intervention, including the all important impact on the young homeless themselves. These additional benefits are, however, over and above a pure financial benefit to the public purse.