Homelessness is expensive, individually and collectively. It takes a $7-billion bite out of the economy annually.

About 30,000 people experience homelessness in Canada on any given night – 235,000 over the course of a year – and about one in 10 are chronically on the streets.

An analysis by the Homes First Society found that chronically homeless people accumulate about $161,000 a year in costs when you consider medical care, interactions with police (up to one in four calls involve homeless people) and the criminal justice system, shelter costs and social supports like disability payments.