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Cuts to support services will cost society more in the long run


It is a truth universally acknowledged that prevention is better than cure.

But, when making cuts to the local authority and health spending, it is often preventative support services that come under fire. Let’s be honest, they’re just easier cuts to make, politically and financially.

At Horton Housing, we provide a wide range of crisis and support services to people facing homelessness as a result of social and economic factors. The people coming through our doors are facing serious challenges including drug or alcohol addiction; mental health issues; financial, sexual and emotional abuse; social isolation and long-term unemployment.

Preventative measures, such as our community cafes to tackle rural isolation in North Yorkshire, our drug and alcohol recovery programme, our training courses in ESOL and job skills, our supported living services and our older people’s support service are all ways in which we can stop these problems turning into a crisis.

A helping hand to fill out a form, to apply for benefits, to get a CV in shape or to learn English may be the difference between independent living and reliance on the state. In the long-term it makes sense to invest in this type of ‘low-level’ support. 

Our BRICSS service, for example, provides a home from hospital service for people who would otherwise stay in hospital because they don’t have adequate housing in which to recover. An independent report evaluated that for every £2 spent on this service, the tax payer saved £4 which would have otherwise been spent on longer stays in hospital or readmission.

Giving people access to support helps them to take the steps towards more independent living, less reliance on benefits and moving back into work which can only be good for society as a whole.

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Written by Paul Gartland | Posted on 19th February 2015

Paul Gartland is Chief Executive Officer, Horton Housing Association, a charitable organisation with services in Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees and North Yorkshire. It provides a range of housing-related support and training services designed to help people who are disadvantaged through social and economic circumstances, including drug and alcohol misuse, mental health, social exclusion, long-term unemployment and homelessness.

Website: http://www.hortonhousing.co.uk/