Estimated Annual Cost of Child Homelessness in Pennsylvania – $40,079 Per Child!

From the People’s Emergency Center (

This new report authored by Dr. Staci Perlman and People’s Emergency Center shows that the societal cost of childhood homelessness reaches well beyond the cost of providing housing.

An examination of thirteen cost categories associated with child homelessness shows that the estimated annual marginal cost of child homelessness in Pennsylvania is $363,205,374. This averages to an annual marginal cost of approximately $40,235 per child for the 9,027 children who slept at least one night in shelter in 2011. Compared to the average cost of a child who is not homeless ($6,419) – ending homelessness should be a priority for Pennsylvania’s policymakers.

The report asserts that society will continue to pay the high cost of child homelessness unless it solves a number of problems in ‘mainstream’ human service systems — foster care, education, and others — that contribute to homelessness.

The full policy brief can be accessed at

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