2016 was the first year for Denver’s innovative Social Impact Bonds Initiative, partnering the city with homeless service providers and private investors to help chronically homeless people get off the streets and stay off the streets.

Denver is the ninth city in the U.S. to initiate social impact bonds (SIBs), but it is the first to use them to address the issues of the chronically homeless. “The results of this work will be of nationwide importance,” said Cathy Alderman, vice president of communications and public policy for the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), the initiative’s primary service provider partner. “We’re hoping to show that by investing up front, we create cost-savings as well as improve lives.”

The key is bringing people into permanent supportive housing, Alderman said. Since the chronically homeless often struggle with substance abuse and mental health issues, the program provides onsite healthcare, counseling and social services.  “Everyone’s needs are different. The model is to provide intensive case management, meeting them wherever they are in their struggles.”

Read more at: Pioneering Social Impact Bonds for chronically homeless