Research from Cambridge University has revealed that homelessness charities Emmaus Communities save the Government £600,000 a year.
There are 11 Emmaus Communities in the UK which involve homeless people in social enterprise such as recycling and furniture businesses. They also make an annual surplus, which is donated to other charities.
The main saving they make is in reducing the cost of homelessness by providing accommodation. But they also reduce costs to the National Health Service and the criminal justice system. They also do not take government funding.
"It is clear that the Emmaus organisation is unique in its approach to homelessness. It has the ability to provide value for money for government and to contribute to society in a positive way," said research team leader Professor Christine Whitehead.
The Emmaus movement was founded by a French priest in 1949 to meet the needs of people made homeless by WW2.