Program looks to stop the Skid Row to jail pipeline (KPCC)

The office estimates one out of every five jail inmates is at risk of homelessness when they come out. The program has served about 500 inmates in its first year, but hasn't been able to meet the growing demand. With a private "pay for success" investment, they're poised to massively scale up in the coming months. 

Pay for success is a new concept to L.A. County, but has been used elsewhere to encourage government agencies to innovate by outsourcing some of the financial risk of trying something new to the private sector. In this instance, a group of private investors, including United Healthcare and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, has given ODR funds to scale the program to 300 new clients--and if successful, the county pays the investors back. 

The overall goal, Buchanan said, is to reduce the number of people in the justice system who have mental health and substance use disorders.

"We're using supportive housing as a health care intervention," she said. 

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The Promise of Administrative Data and Performance Management: Reflections on Recommendations from the Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making (Third Sector Capital Partners)

The primary goals of the Final Report of the Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking are laudable: to “[improve] both the privacy protections afforded to the American public and the availability of rigorous evidence to inform policymaking.” Government has wrestled with these issue areas for decades, and while significant challenges remain, the recommendations of the Commission provide a unique bipartisan opportunity for government to dramatically improve the way it delivers services to focus on data and program impact.

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Why Venture Capitalists Aren’t Funding The Businesses We Need (Fast Company)

Baird says government can help spread new business creation beyond hotspots like Boston, San Francisco, and New York. For example, he proposes the novel idea of a “job bond”: a financial instrument that’s like a bond to build a new sports stadium but is designed to encourage companies to hire more workers. Groups of private investors, including individuals and foundations, would put up a pool of capital with a specific purpose–say, investing in agricultural businesses in rural Indiana. Then the government would repay the capital from increased payroll and sales tax revenue as the company expands (the mechanism is like a social impact bond). Another idea would be to offer tax breaks for “opportunity funds” in distressed communities (as proposed under the yet-to-be-passed Investing in Opportunity Act).

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Future of PFS: Can PFS lead to sustainable funding for social programs? (Urban Institute)

In theory, once a program funded through pay for success (PFS) demonstrates measurable improvements in outcomes, the government could start funding it through traditional financing streams, providing an avenue to stable funding. The alternatives are for service providers to return to grant funding or continue with additional PFS projects—neither of which offers a sustainable solution. Particularly if a program has a significant evidence base, why not bypass some of the more challenging aspects of PFS and have government fund it directly? 

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State of Play: Pay for Success & Evidence-Based Policy, September 2017 (America Forward)

Coming off August recess and summer vacations, Pay for Success and evidence-based policy and practice efforts at the federal and state level have not let up. This year continues to be an incredibly active year for Pay for Success and evidence-based policy and practice. At the federal level, new policies are being introduced and implemented and we are seeing new initiatives being executed at the state and local levels that bring a greater focus on outcomes and the use of evidence and data in the allocation of government resources and implementation of human and social services.

To update the field on all of this activity, America Forward held our fourth Pay for Success and Evidence-Based Policy Network call recently to discuss the current “State of Play” in Pay for Success and evidence-based policy and practice.  This post reflects the major updates provided during that call and additional resources needed to access more detail about each major piece of legislation, Administrative initiative and state level effort.

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Third Sector and AISP Partner with Five Governments to Improve Outcomes for Vulnerable Families and Children (Third Sector Capital Partners)

With the support of a 2016 Social Innovation Fund grant of $2.4 million over three years, Third Sector Capital Partners, Inc. (“Third Sector”) and Actionable Intelligence for Social Policy (“AISP”) at the University of Pennsylvania will provide five governments with the technical assistance to develop both Integrated Data Systems (IDS) and a flexible, scalable contracting model based on measurable outcomes. This effort is an important first step in transforming these governments’ capacity to target valuable resources to serve the two-generation needs of vulnerable children and families.

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Unlocking Public Sector Innovation: Harnessing data to scale outcomes-contracting (Third Sector Capital Partners)

Almost three years ago, Cuyahoga County embarked on an innovative approach to improve outcomes for homeless families with children in foster care. Utilizing an integrated data system developed by Case Western Reserve University, the County was able to identify a significant overlap between children’s length of time in foster care and their families’ lack of housing homeless families and extended stays in foster care. Their solution? Partner with Third Sector to develop a new $5M outcomes-oriented contract with Frontline Services with the goal of keeping families together and reducing days in foster care for 135 of Cuyahoga’s most vulnerable families.

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Celebrating the California Pay for Success Initiative (Nonprofit Finance Fund)

Oakland – On September 15, 2017, The James Irvine Foundation and Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) convened over 70 social sector leaders from across California to celebrate the achievements and discuss building on the remarkable lessons of the California Pay for Success Initiative. Launched in 2014, the initiative was designed to help nonprofit and government leaders launch Pay for Success (PFS) projects in the state. With the right investments and cross-sector support, Pay for Success (PFS) and outcomes-based approaches more broadly have the potential to transform our social sector by aligning resources with better outcomes for our communities.

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Want to be the next PFSI TTA recipient? (Urban Institute)

Back in 2015, we launched our first application process for Urban’s pro bono pay for success (PFS) training and technical assistance (TTA) services. The seven grantees we selected from a strong applicant pool included government and quasi-governmental agencies and intermediaries from Yakima Valley in Washington State to Suffolk County, New York. Some were close to project launch and looking for specific evaluation support from Urban; others were in the early stages of project planning and sought guidance on how to select an appropriate problem to address using this approach.  

Through our work with this first cohort of TTA grantees, our team has better honed what factors appear tied to success in PFS; absorbed lessons from our staff working on evaluation; and learned more about the steps that governments take when planning and implementing this model.

Now, we are ready to apply these lessons learned to a brand-new cohort of cities, counties, states, and service providers.

That is why Urban is excited to release its second RFP for TTA services. Our experts are eager to help other places interested in PFS strengthen their projects.

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DA's Office announces new justice restoration project (Pleasanton Weekly)

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley has announced that she is leading a partnership of county agencies, community groups and other resources to try to provide successful outcomes for young adults who are on felony probation or who've been charged with certain felonies.

O'Malley said the "Alameda County Justice Restoration Project" will focus on reducing and eliminating recidivism as well as on providing the resources and processes for individuals to build bright futures.

She said the project will focus on young adults between the ages of 18 and 24 and will be evaluated by WestEd Inc., an independent research and assessment organization.

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