Bridges Ventures to back three pioneering Social Impact Bonds, designed to help over 700 young people escape homelessness
- The SIBs will provide up-front funding for interventions by three specialist homelessness charities
- These are three of the schemes being supported by the DCLG/ Cabinet Office’s Fair Chance Fund
- Bridges’ Social Sector Funds have now backed 10 UK SIBs
Working with social investment intermediaries Social Finance & Numbers4Good, Bridges Ventures, a specialist fund manager dedicated to sustainable and impact investment, has agreed to invest £1.5m in three Social Impact Bonds designed to reduce homelessness among NEETs (young people not in education, employment and training) in Greater Manchester, Greenwich, West Yorkshire and the West Midlands.
Homelessness and unstable accommodation remain a serious problem for many young people in the UK. Without stable housing, these individuals are less likely to complete education and move into employment in the short term – and they will typically experience poorer life outcomes in the long run.
Bridges has committed to support three innovative interventions, all of which will be delivered by specialist homelessness charities with proven expertise:
- St Basils will focus on young people in the West Midlands
- Fusion Housing will lead a consortium focusing on young people in West Yorkshire
- Depaul UK will focus on young people in Greater Manchester and Greenwich
The new programmes are among seven to have received backing from the Fair Chance Fund. Launched jointly by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office in April 2014, this £15 million scheme is aiming to move over 2,000 homeless young people into sustainable accommodation, as well as employment, education or training, over a three-year period.
Funding will be provided via Social Impact Bonds: the contracts are structured on an ‘outcomes payment’ basis, so providers will only be paid for the positive social outcomes achieved. These will include entering and sustaining accommodation, education, volunteering and employment.
Bridges has agreed to invest £1.5m across the three contracts via its Social Sector Funds. It will then work closely with the providers concerned, as they look to support some 720 young people.
Andrew Levitt, Investment Director at Bridges Ventures, said: “These three investments are an exciting opportunity to support a very vulnerable group of young people. Each of the three charities we are working with is a leader in its field, and will be delivering innovative, long-term support to a total of over 700 young people. This support will help beneficiaries to escape homelessness and move into employment and training, improving individuals’ long-term life outcomes significantly and benefiting society as a whole.”
The investment in these three Social Impact Bonds builds on Bridges’ previous experience of investing in Commonweal Housing, a ‘peer landlord’ project designed to help former rough sleepers gain valuable life skills through a supportive shared housing model.
Following these latest deals, the Bridges funds will have backed ten Social Impact Bonds in the UK, financing innovative interventions in areas like foster care, youth training and adoption.
Notes to editors
About Bridges Ventures (www.bridgesventures.com)
Bridges Ventures LLP (“Bridges Ventures”) is a specialist fund manager dedicated to sustainable and impact investment. Its impact-driven investment approach aims to create superior returns for both investors and society at-large. Bridges Ventures manages almost £500 million across three fund types: Sustainable Growth, Property and Social Sector funds.
About the Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund
The Bridges Social Impact Bond fund was launched in April 2013 with Big Society Capital as cornerstone investor, alongside Omidyar Network and Panahpur. It held a final close on £25m in September 2014. The fund – the first of its type in the world – provides investment and support to charities and social enterprises delivering intervention programmes that substantially improve social outcomes.
The fund also has a co-investment agreement with Bridges’ other Social Sector fund, the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund. Seeded by the Bridges Charitable Trust, this fund was launched in August 2009 and has raised nearly £12m for investment in scalable social enterprises and charities with sustainable business models delivering high social impacts.
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