Social Impact Bond Showcase

New collaborations, maximum social impact.

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Social Impact Bonds are a relatively new financing solution in the past decade, bringing together the public sector, the private sector, and the philanthropic community into a partnership that tests a new form of collaboration focused on maximizing shared social impact goals.

We first hear from three communities in the United States: Anchorage, Alaska; Denver, Colorado; and Santa Clara County, California, who are currently pioneering homelessness-focused social impact bonds to learn how the bonds were formed, how the program is working, and what is next in this great collaborative frontier.

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City/County Municipality of Anchorage
Size $12.75 million ($2 million philanthropy, $4.5 million Municipality of Anchorage outcome payments, additional state/federal housing and healthcare funding)
Background Anchorage Assembly authorized the Municipality to enter into a Pay for Success contract, which requires the project to demonstrate success before accessing municipal funding.
Mission Transition persistently homeless population into permanent housing
Population Serving “Frequent users” or “super-utilizers” who cycle in and out of public systems, primarily homeless shelters, criminal justice, and emergency health services.
Impact Scope House 150 individuals
Announcement Date Feasibility phase began in Fall 2017, pilot year began July 2019
Pre-Launch / Pilot Period 1 year
Start Date October 2020
Anticipated End Date October 2023 (3 years)




City/County City and County of Denver, CO
Size $23.7 million ($8.6 million from social impact sources + federal sources)
Background City and County of Denver and eight private investors closed on the city’s first SIB program.
Mission Housing stability and decreased jail stays
Population Serving Fund supportive housing for people who were homeless for more than a year (“chronic homeless”) or had a disabling condition and were frequent users of emergency systems – “frequent users” or “super-utilizers”.
Impact Scope House 300 individuals
Announcement Date June 2014
Pre-Launch / Pilot Period
Start Date February 2016
Anticipated End Date February 2021 (5 years)


Context Notes

Each year, 250 chronically homeless individuals account for:
o 14,000 days in jail
o 2,200 visits to detox
o 1,500 arrests
o 500 emergency room visits

Each year, the average cost to taxpayers per individual is $29,000, resulting from jail days, police
encounters, court costs, detox, ER and other medical visits.

Each year, the City spends approximately $7 million on 250 individuals to cover the expenses above.

Source: CSH Fact Sheet



City/County The County of Santa Clara
Size $6.9 million
Background Project Welcome Home is the first of two Pay for Success projects led by the County with support from its advisor, Third Sector Capital Partners. Launched through a Disruptive Innovation grant funded by the Health Trust and awarded to Step Up Silicon Valley.
Mission Provide housing and supportive services for the chronically homeless and aim to improve quality of life and reduce reliance on costly government services.
Population Serving
Impact Scope 150-200 chronically homeless individuals
Announcement Date 2015
Pre-Launch / Pilot Period
Start Date September 2015
Anticipated End Date September 2021

Context Notes

study published in May by the Economic Roundtable, a policy research nonprofit in California, found that more than 2,800 people are chronically homeless in Santa Clara County, and each of them costs about $83,000 a year in public spending. Cortese and the rest of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors are betting that as the homeless population drops, some of that $83,000 in spending at local jails, emergency rooms and shelters will drop as well.

Contract Dynamics

Use of Funds Supportive services (intensive case management) and flexible housing support for up to 150 individuals
Outcome Payor Municipality of Anchorage
“Success” Trigger Each month individual is stably housed (up to 24 months), with carefully defined exceptions and exclusions for things like jail or hospital stays
Outcome Payment Detail None, all “savings” recycled back into project’s costs
Repayment Frequency Semi-annual
Range of Payment N/A – Started in October 2020, too early for any payments to have been made to date
Term 3 years*


*Budget is funded for 3-year program, however, there is no obligation for the city/state to keep funding beyond 3 years – longer term program to be funded by City and State if successful outcomes reached.

Contract Dynamics

Use of Funds Housing vouchers for 40 existing units, construction financing for 210 new units in Denver
Outcome Payor City and County of Denver
“Success” Trigger Qualifying participants are those who spent at least one year in housing or had a planned exit. (1) Reduction in jail bed days, (2) housing stability
Outcome Payment Detail $15.12 for each day each qualifying participant was stably housed and not in jail
Repayment Frequency Quarterly
Range of Quarterly Payment $188k-$837k/quarter
Term 5 years


Contract Dynamics

Use of Funds
Outcome Payor The County of Santa Clara
“Success” Trigger Each quarter individual is stably housed, with carefully defined exceptions and exclusions for things like jail or hospital stays
Outcome Payment Detail Payment to Lender per Program Participant Milestone – $1,242/participant housed for 3 months, $6,831 paid for 12 months continuous housing (Table)
Repayment Frequency Quarterly
Range of Quarterly Payment


Fiscal Agent / 

Financial Advisor

Social Finance (financial advisor), no fiscal agent
Project Manager United Way of Anchorage
Service Provider 1 Southcentral Foundation
Service Provider 2 Alaska Behavioral Health
Managed Care Organization
Project Development N/A – scattered site model across many housing projects, no new housing created
Independent Evaluators NPC Research
Evaluation Grantor HUD/DOJ grant*
Government Advisor & Transaction Coordinator Social Finance
Technical Partner The Corporation for Supportive Housing
Legal Support N/A
Early Supporters DOJ and HUD grant*


Partnership Notes

*In 2016, United Way of Anchorage, in partnership with the Municipality of Anchorage and other community stakeholders, was awarded a $1.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and U.S. Department of Justice will be used to support the implementation of a program to address homelessness financed via a social impact bond. The grant provides support for feasibility, transaction structuring, and evaluation activities for the project.



Fiscal Agent Enterprise Community Partners, Inc.
Project Manager Corporation for Supportive Housing
Service Provider 1 Colorado Coalition for the Homeless
Service Provider 2 Mental Health Center for Denver
Managed Care Organization Colorado Access
Project Development Social Impact Solutions
Independent Evaluators Urban Institute with local partner the University of Colorado Denver and the Burnes Institute
Evaluation Grantor
Government Advisor & Transaction Coordinator
Technical Partner
Legal Support
Early Supporters

Partnership Notes

Additional Support Provided by:

  • Harvard Kennedy School Government Performance Lab
  • Colorado Division of Housing and Colorado Governor’s Office
  • Colorado Housing Finance Authority
  • Denver Housing Authority
  • Feasibility Grants: The Piton Foundation, Kaiser Permanente, The Denver Foundation, and the Rose Community Foundation
  • Transaction Structuring Grant: Nonprofit Finance Fund and the Social Innovation Fund at the Corporation for National and Community Service


Fiscal Agent Third Sector Capital Partners
Project Manager
Service Provider 1 Abode Services
Service Provider 2
Managed Care Organization
Project Development
Independent Evaluators University of California, San Francisco
Evaluation Grantor Laura and John Arnold Foundation
Government Advisor & Transaction Coordinator Third Sector Capital Partners
Technical Partner Palantir Technologies (technology platform for data sharing)
Legal Support Fenwick & West and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP,
Early Supporters Step Up Silicon Valley, Catholic Charities of Santa Clara County, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Sobrato Family Foundation, The Health Trust, California Pay for Success Initiative (administered by Nonprofit Finance Fund and funded by The James Irvine Foundation)

Investor Notes

The Rasmuson Foundation and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority also contributed funding for a pilot program from July 2019 to September 2020 to help bring the project to scale. The project also received support during the pilot period from the Alaska Community Foundation.

All four funders for the contract term — the Rasmuson Foundation, Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority, Providence Health and Services Alaska, and Premera Blue Cross — have committed to reinvest all qualified ‘success payments’ back into the program’s ongoing expenses, rather than earn a return or get paid back on the investment.

Social Finance’s work on this project has been generously supported by The Kresge Foundation and Corporation for National and Community Service




Soc Housing Innovation Collaborative