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Canada Research Project Gave Homeless People $7,500 To Change Their Lives



  • The New Leaf project is a research study started by a charity organization in Canada. 
  • They took in homeless people as participants and gave some of them cash assistance. 
  • The results of the study were heartwarming seeing how people’s lives were transformed.

A charity organization based in Vancouver, Canada, started a research project to challenge the views and stereotypes about homeless people. They found out, giving money to them is not exactly a bad idea as most of the people usually think. 

It is called The New Leaf project that took in 115 homeless participants confirmed to have no serious mental issues or substance abuse. 50 of them got to receive $7,500 and monitored if they could turn their lives around with it. 

After a year, the apparent change in their lives was heartwarming! Most of the beneficiaries still had around $1,000 savings while 67% of them could still continue to feed themselves. 

The participants’ average age was 42 and had been homeless for an average of six months. One in every three of them had a child and one in every four were employed in some jobs.

Photo Credit: Fred Lum

They monitored this research project monthly and quarterly, checking on the participants’ conditions and spending. 

While it’s normally a notion that they would spend money irresponsibly, on alcohol or maybe drugs, the result of the research actually echoed otherwise. 

In the impact report by the Foundation for Charitable Giving, it was found that participants who had received the cash assistance were able to move into housing faster than others who didn’t. 

The expenditures of the cash-recipients were found to be more frugal compared to the controlled group of non-cash beneficiaries. 

Photo Credit: Paul Chiasson

In a nutshell, the result of the study showed that with the $7,500 cash aid, the province of British Columbia has actually saved $600 per person per year from the allocated budget for their emergency services.

“By spending fewer nights in shelters, the cash group saved the shelter system approximately $8,100 per person for a total of roughly $405,000 over one year,” says the impact report. “Factoring in the cost of the cash transfer, that’s a savings of $600 per person for society.”

For the recipients, the money they received gave them hope and a chance in life. It was a fresh start for them to turn their lives around for the better and they couldn’t be thankful enough. 

Source: Good News Network