Activism

Big Issue Invest: Outcomes fund begins with the homeless and vulnerable

Big Issue Invest’s Outcomes Investment Fund makes its first investments into the St Mungo’s and Changing Lives charities

A hostel for the homeless

St Mungo’s and Changing Lives, charities that provide specialist support services for homeless and vulnerable people across the UK, are the first organisations to receive investment from Big Issue Invest’s Outcomes Investment Fund.

The Barclays Bank-supported fund makes investments into charities and social enterprises delivering payment by results contracts, where some or all of the contract payments are dependent on achieving social outcomes set by the public sector commissioner. Big Issue Invest (BII) is the social investment arm of The Big Issue, and set up the fund last year.

The backing of Big Issue Invest is crucial in exploring innovative options to help people at a very low point in their lives

“We are delighted to partner with St Mungo’s and Changing Lives” said Katy Pillai, Investment Director at Big Issue Invest. “They are both outstanding organisations with an excellent track record and commitment to improving lives. With our organisations’ shared social mission and values, we look forward to developing these partnerships further.”

Changing Lives works with people affected by multiple social exclusion by reaching out into communities across the country and helps people to make positive, lasting changes in their lives.

The organisation offers specialist support services for women and families, dedicated recovery centres, temporary and long-term accommodation solutions, and employment and volunteering opportunities. The Big Issue Invest loan of £400,000 will fund Changing Lives to support 150 homeless people in Newcastle and Gateshead.

“We have been offering services to homeless people in Tyneside for over 40 years, and we are always striving to innovate the services that we provide,” said Stephen Bell OBE, Chief Executive of Changing Lives.

“We are delighted to be working with BII as an investment partner, not just in respect of the loan but because we believe that we can learn from each other and ultimately inject new ideas as well as investment into the way that we support vulnerable rough sleepers in Newcastle and Gateshead.”

Rita and Hope at Nightingale House

St Mungo’s is a leading UK charity and housing association working directly with people who are sleeping rough, in hostels, and at risk of homelessness across London and the south of England. A loan of £125,000 from Big Issue Invest will provide St Mungo’s with the upfront funding needed to work intensively with 175 people sleeping rough in London.

St Mungo’s Chief Executive Howard Sinclair said: “St Mungo’s has always been at the forefront of new ways to support people away from street homelessness so they can live fulfilling lives.

“That’s why the backing of BII is crucial in ensuring we are able to explore innovative options with people who have perhaps reached a very low point in their lives and work with them in their unique recovery journey towards a more positive future.”

We can learn from each other and inject new ideas as well as investment into the way that we support vulnerable rough sleepers

The Outcomes Investment Fund is managed by an FCA-authorised subsidiary of Big Issue Invest, and was launched in May 2017 with a cornerstone investment of £10 million from Big Society Capital and with support from Barclays Bank.

Payment by results contracts are a growing source of revenue for many charities and social enterprises and the Outcomes Investment Fund was developed to provide fit-for-purpose funding to support their delivery. The return on the Fund’s investments is linked to the success of the underlying contracts in achieving these outcomes, and Big Issue Invest provides management support to its investees.

Big Issue Invest’s first payment by results investment was in 2012, as part of the London Homelessness Social Impact Bond commissioned by the GLA.

A recent DCLG evaluation of the programme estimated that it had avoided around 3,900 episodes of rough sleeping in the capital. Significantly more of the programme’s participants were in long-term accommodation after it ended than a comparison group.

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