Social Impact Bonds

Our social impact bonds help people who have been homeless for prolonged periods – they are often trapped in a cycle of rough sleeping, and have complex issues around alcohol, drug use, mental illness and/or physical health issues.

The SIB model allows us to work intensively and creatively with people so they can finally leave homelessness behind for good.

Between October and March 2017, we launched three new Social Impact Bonds (SIBs) though the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) Rough Sleeping Prevention Programme.

  • Street Impact London in October 2017 supported by £250,000 social investment by Big Issue invest and CAF venturesome. The SIB is commissioned by the GLA and will support 175 individuals
  • Social Impact Bristol in partnership with Second Step and Bristol Drug project in November 2017, supported by £273,000 social investment from CAF venturesome and Resonance. The SIB is commissioned by the City Council and will support 125 individuals
  • Street Impact Brighton in March 2018 supported by £155k social investment from Big Issue Invest. We will work with 100 individuals.

The three SIBs are commissioned via 100% Payment by Result contracts. The commissioners pay for achievement against the following improved social outcomes:

  • Sustaining accommodation
  • Improving health and wellbeing
  • Engaging and sustaining in formal treatment for those who have substance use issues
  • Securing a range of educational and employment opportunities including volunteering.

The SIB funding model offers our staff a way to work intensively with the same people over a much longer period of four years. This wasn’t and still isn’t possible through other funding channels.  This means staff are with clients throughout their journey off the streets, into a home and as they fulfil their hopes.

Our SIB success is built on getting to know each individual and their strengths. We work with our clients to understand what has worked for them in the past, what has not worked and what is still not working. This allows us to try new things which suit our clients, including investing in their education and creating a tailored pathway off the streets ensuring that ultimately they are connected to their community.

Looking at a person’s whole history with fresh eyes and having the resources to be able to listen to the client about what will make a difference to them, prompts SIB workers to challenge some of the standard narratives about what is possible or probable for that client. Tiffany Day, Manager, Street Impact London

We get to know the person inside out, understand their personality, skills and hopes as well as their often complex history, including trauma and the risks they face. By doing this we are able to build positive and trusting relationships with the client. We work to empower them so they can start to problem solve and advocate for themselves with confidence.

“Working for the SIB team provided me with the best working experience I have had. It allowed me to work with my clients with them in the driving seat, using my knowledge amassed over 10 years in the sector, with autonomy, freedom and creativity in partnership with them. It allowed me to walk with them on their journey toward recovery, health and wellbeing and it was a privilege. After this I worked in client involvement – putting our clients at the centre of everything St Mungo’s does and helping them through their recovery. I then returned to the SIB, bringing this experience with me.  Because we work with the same people over a number of years there is a wonderful opportunity to work toward recovery and I am passionate about that being the focus of my work with my clients.” Nathan Rosier, Case Coordinator, Street Impact London.

Case study
Client Y has been rough sleeping in London for nearly 20 years. Historically drug treatment services refused to fund detox and rehab for him even though he wanted it, as he wouldn’t engage in treatment in the community and enter via the approved pathway. He entered custody on a short sentence and when we visited him in prison he was asking to be given the opportunity for residential treatment which he had never been given a chance in. We asked Y to write a letter explaining why he wanted it, and petitioned the commissioner, who agreed to fund the placement. Y has now completed three weeks of detox and since entered his first week of residential rehab.

Street Impact
Between 2012 and 2016, St Mungo’s delivered the Greater London Authority’s first pan-London Homelessness Social Impact Bond.

The Social Impact Bond – which we called Street Impact – accommodated over 300 people who were sleeping rough long term across London.

In Street Impact’s “Stories from the street – holistic approaches to lasting recovery”, you’ll find examples of how workers carefully built relationships with people to work towards the best outcomes for them.