Vancouver Gave Homeless People $5,800. It Changed Their Lives. – A Single Infusion Of Cash Helped Recipients Pay Their Rent, Get To Work — And Put Their Lives Back On Track.

Read the Story

Show Top Comments

Context is important….. The Foundation for Social Change, a Vancouver-based charity, partnered with the University of British Columbia to identify 50 people between 19 and 64 years old **who had recently become homeless. The recipients were identified as not having significant substance abuse or mental health issues.** This seems to be a promising a experiment for the subset of the homeless that it studied. Unfortunately, this subset does not represent the majority of the homeless. EDIT: I am not trying to denigrate the study – my intent is to provide context that was missing from the article to prevent people from interpreting the results too broadly. Let me clarify the context further by pasting this quote from the study itself…. **”Project participants were carefully screened for program eligibility to ensure the highest likelihood of success.”** This doesn’t invalidate the study, but it’s important to know when reading the article – don’t you agree?


Due to going back to school at 30 there was a point about 8 years ago where I had $0.00 in my bank account. People say that the first million dollars is the hardest to make but I don’t believe it’s as hard as the first thousand. Today I am doing very well and have much to be thankful for due to a combination of government tuition assistance and hard work, but that’s besides the point. What is the point is that this morning I ran out of printer ink and I was able to get more from the store without worrying if this means I can eat today. Things like a new suit, printer ink and basic office supplies cost money. Rent and a place with a shower cost money. When they say it takes money to make money “they” are right, but “they” all too often forget that doesn’t always apply to millionaires. Often it applies to someone who can’t afford dress shoes.


This is a turning point for no-strings cash poverty assistance. Not only is it humane, but it’s immediately economically net-positive, not even taking into account increased labor productivity and long term cost savings. “Because of the reduced nights spent in emergency shelters, each cash recipient saved the government roughly $8,000 over the course of the year. Less the cost of the cash transfer, each cash recipient produced a net savings of more than $600”.


I live paycheck to paycheck. One time I won $100 on a scratch ticket and that kept me sitting pretty for about 9 months. A small injection can go a long way if, and it’s a big if, other factors of stability are in place.


A sample size of 50. Took place in 2018 and formal results have not been released. This isn’t a paradigm shifting study by any means.