New Leaf homeless cash project records positive results

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A project in British Columbia giving a one-time $7,500 cash payment to 50 homeless people finds their lives to be much more stable after one year.
According to the Project;
‘A direct cash transfer empowers individuals with dignity and provides the choice to make spending decisions that best suit their needs.’
Some of the results recorded were that , on average, cash recipients:
● Move into stable housing faster
● Spend fewer days homeless
● Retain over $1,000 in savings through 12 months
● Increase spending on food, clothing, and rent
● Achieve greater food security
● Made wise financial choices with a 39% reduction in spending on alcohol, cigarettes and drugs
● Reduce reliance on the shelter system of care, resulting in cost savings to society
The scheme was run including a control group who were not given cash for a fair analysis. Some (from both the paid and not paid groups) were offered coaching so the impact of training/advice could also be assessed.

Isn’t it quite expensive to do this?

The Project claimed overall savings of $8,100 per person for the State were recorded by the shelter system.  Supporters argue that the project can be seen as paying for itself.

Has this been done before?

The project claims to be the first of its kind which gives no strings attached cash. Similar projects have been trialled in London reported here and Chicago reported here.

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