Depaul UK - Bridges Fund Management








Depaul UK

Preventing youth homelessness through intensive, tailored and flexible counselling and guidance

Investment Strategy

Outcomes Contracts


Stronger Communities

Date of initial investment

December 2014

Bridges Executives

Andrew Levitt
Adam Kybird

Challenge: Around 60,000 young adults aged 18-24 in England experience homelessness each year. Many of these have complex needs and a large number are also classed as NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training). Due to the nature of government homelessness services, this group often falls through the cracks of provision, failing to get the support they need. Without effective intervention, these young people risk a considerably poorer future than their peers.

Investable Solution: Depaul UK, an international homelessness charity founded in 1989 in response to rough sleeping in London, has launched a new programme called ‘Fair Chance, Your Chance’. Focusing on Manchester, Rochdale, Oldham and the London Borough of Greenwich, it is designed to support almost 200 of the most vulnerable young people out of homelessness and into accommodation, education, training and employment. The programme is being financed by a social impact bond commissioned by the Fair Chance Fund, a Department of Communities & Local Government initiative. The Bridges Social Impact Bond Fund is one of the lead investors in this SIB.

Depaul’s approach to the project will utilise floating support workers in each of the four local authority areas. These workers will work with a defined group of young people with whom they can build relationships and work with over the three years of the programme. These long-term relationships will enable Depaul to provide tailored and flexible support, which can adjust to the different needs of the young people as they progress through the programme. The contract is structured on a payment-by-results basis, which means the provider will be paid for achieving certain outcomes – for instance, if the young people on the scheme are able to successfully enter education, achieve a qualification, enter employment and sustain the job.

Outcomes: The Fair Chance Fund programme will aim to deliver positive social impact in four distinct categories:

  • Direct beneficiary impact through delivery. The programme will work with 180 young people, aiming to support 155 into accommodation, 65 into education and 70 into sustained employment
  • Direct societal impact through savings in costs for local authorities and central government from lower life time reliance on accommodation / care services
  • Systemic social policy impact through trialling new models to prevent young people becoming homeless and NEET
  • Systemic market-building impact as the first SIB dealing with this cohort and for these organisations, it will both help demonstrate the benefits of this commissioning approach in youth homelessness and also strengthen the three organisations with a view to helping them deliver further contracts