Bonds to break the homelessness cycle
An Australian first social impact bonds program designed to end homelessness for 600 South Australians has been launched.
Aspire Adelaide is a joint initiative between the South Australian State Government and Social Ventures Australia, Hutt Street Centre and Common Ground.
Investors in the Aspire Social Impact Bond will be funding the working capital of the program which seeks to provide disadvantaged people with re-education, job training and employment pathways and skills to help them break the cycle of homelessness.
The program also sets out to reduce other social issues that can be linked to homelessness, including incarceration, demand on emergency accommodation and hospital admissions.
Aspire Adelaide was designed by the State Government, Hutt Street Centre, Common Ground Adelaide and Social Ventures Australia.
The program is financed by private investors, with $9 million to be raised through the bond issue.
A social impact bond links investors, service providers and government to solve pressing social problems.
It involves ongoing case management that provide pathways to employment with corporate and training partners, as well as life skills programs delivered by volunteers.
If a reduction in demand for services is met, investors make a return. Estimated investor return is 8.5 per cent per annum over the 7.75 year term of the bond.
The bonds support participants over a longer period of time than current programs allow, with the aim of addressing the root cause of their homelessness.
In 2015 the State Government set out to pilot social impact investment to promote innovation in the delivery of social and community services.
Communities and Social Inclusion Minister Zoe Bettison said:
Homelessness is a complex problem affecting men and women of all ages, at different stages of their lives, and from a wide range of backgrounds.
Recently the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported nearly 280,000 people received an assisted a specialist homeless service in 2015-16. That’s one in 85 Australians.
I’m proud that this forward-thinking program, developed by a partnership between the State Government, investors, Hutt Street Centre, Common Ground Adelaide and Social Ventures Australia, will make a big difference to many in our community who desperately need it.
Health Minister Jack Snelling said:
This is a brilliant program and a first in Australia that’s specifically designed to break the cycle of homelessness.
With the help of investors who share our vision, and the work of all involved to create this new program, we can improve the lives of vulnerable and homeless people.
It’ll not only benefit the participants – but also the wider community through reduced demands on our health, justice and homelessness support systems.
Social Ventures Australia CEO Rob Koczkar said:
The first Social Impact Bond in South Australia is a significant milestone; it is designed to deliver long term outcomes in justice, health and housing for the homeless population, which is highly vulnerable and requires specialist intensive intervention.
SVA is particularly pleased that the South Australian Government has identified this high impact opportunity designed to change the trajectory of the lives of these individuals while delivering social and financial returns to investors.