A groundbreaking study into the impact of Right There has revealed it generates over £300m of savings every year for the public purse, through its unique approach to preventing and tackling homelessness.

As Scotland’s national housing crisis deepens, the report, entitled “The difference Right There makes” takes a social return on investment approach to impact evaluation, and sets out how much Right There’s work saves the taxpayer through the likes of long-term health and social care, unemployment benefits, emergency accommodation and by helping to stop people’s problems from worsening.

The report was officially launched at a special event in Edinburgh on 28 May 2024 attended by Paul McLennan MSP, Scottish Government Minister for Housing, and the report’s lead author  Prof. Jim Clifford OBE (pictured above) who spoke at the launch of the key findings.

The research was carried out in the context of the current landscape of economic, political, social, and environmental factors that have and are continuing to shape the third and public sectors, to show the social benefit to society achieved through the charity’s work.

Right There, formerly part of the YMCA movement, has provided practical assistance, advocacy, and empowerment for 200 years, assisting individuals facing tough times. The charity is built on the principle of meeting people where they are without judgement and walking alongside them, tailoring support to their ever-changing needs from providing safe homes to emotional wellbeing and family support as well as community outreach.

In addition to implementing programmes or interventions, Right There stands by individuals, offering unwavering life-improving support and a helping hand when they need it most. That includes accessing medical help, guiding them toward employment opportunities and, ultimately, a secure long-term home.

Through creating five archetypes, based on a series of ‘typical’ storylines about the lives of people that Right There helps, the study has mapped out the journey that supported individuals take, selecting relevant and realistic metrics to measure the impact of the charity as a financial cost to the public purse, had those individuals not been supported by Right There.

Savings that have been measured in the report include the cost of NHS treatment for issues such as substance use and poor mental health; the avoidance of future interactions with the criminal justice system; the benefits of individuals moving into longer term, more sustainable accommodation and savings to the Scottish economy in supporting individuals towards employment.

Janet Haugh, CEO of Right There, said: “As a charity we are driven by the desire to help individuals, one person at a time. Our support is tailored to each person, and we pledge to be right there for as long as it takes. To see the impact of our support defined in such large financial terms is quite overwhelming.

“Right There is saving taxpayers in excess of £300m annually through relieving pressure on NHS and social care costs, unemployment benefits and emergency accommodation.

“At a time when Scotland’s housing crisis is intensifying, budget cuts are increasing and the prediction that homelessness will increase by a third by 2026, compound just how critical our work is and the social benefits it delivers for society as a whole.”

Left to right: Paul McLennan MSP, Janet Haugh, Prof Jim Clifford

Click to read the full report (PDF)

Click to read the Executive Summary (PDF)



Click here and select the block
Click here and select the block

Keep in touch

Sign up to receive email updates about our work and how you can be part of our growing community.