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The Bigger Picture News
Charity Insight Contributor
Published 24 March 2011

Local authorities could save more than £9,000 per person if they invested

in homelessness prevention, new research shows.

The report, called Homelessness prevention: Can we afford not to?, is presented by Depaul UK and calls for a prevention of youth homelessness, which can cost local authorities thousands of pounds per person. Suggested prevention strategies include family mediation within schools and the community, and parenting classes.

The report claims that Depaul UK's portfolio of schemes - which are collectively entitled Reconnect - will cost an average of £363 per person, which means an average saving of £9,493 per client.

Reconnect has already been applied in Oldham, where 62 young people were prevented from becoming homeless, saving local authorities an estimated £1,215,126 per year. The scheme has also been delivered in London, Kent, North
East and North West England and the report claims that homelessness was prevented in 82 per cent of cases.

Una Barry MBE, Deputy Chief Executive of Depaul UK said: "This research highlights that we need to spend a small amount of money now to make real savings in the long term. At a time when money is tight, we all have to make cuts, but if we can work across departments and schools to pool budgets we can really make savings for the future."

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