Homeless people, particularly those with an experience of rough sleeping, have a wide range of needs.
As a client group single homeless people use around four times more acute hospital services than the general population. The Department of Heaalth has found that homeless people use around 4 times more acute hospital services than the general population. For inpatient costs, the figure rises to 8 times when the client group is compared to the general population aged 16-64 (see Healthcare for Single Homeless People, Department of Health, March 2010). Homeless people are also much more likely to be claiming benefits, to have an offending record or use drugs and alcohol in a problematic way.
However, just paying the price of homelessness will do nothing to reduce this cost to the state. We believe significant savings could be made if investment was more strategic and appropriately funded the types of services that support people to make a sustainable recovery from homelessness. Where these types of services are currently being funded they are already making a contribution to reducing the cost of homelessness to taxpayers.
See more about our current funding concerns here