Sacred Heart Mission’s Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program outperforms its Social Impact Investment (SII) targets, with 96% of the first cohort of 60 participants in stable housing after 3 years of support.
Sacred Heart Mission’s innovative J2SI program combines rapid housing and intensive support over three years to make a major difference to the lives of Victorians experiencing chronic, long-term homelessness.
J2SI is funded as Partnership Addressing Disadvantage (PAD), involving Sacred Heart Mission, government, philanthropy and an investor; to provide 180 people three years of support between 2018 and 2023. Employing a Social Impact Investment (SII) approach, payments are made if the J2SI program achieves specific outcomes.
Across 2020 and 2021, Sacred Heart Mission outperformed all of its payment targets for the first two cohorts of 60 participants, with 90% of J2SI clients in stable housing, and the use of ‘hospital bed days’ by clients was cut by 56% compared to before they commenced the J2SI program.
As a result, J2SI received six ‘outperform’ outcome payments under the PAD.
These results indicate an excellent level of program achievement and will lead to ongoing avoided costs to the community, through reductions in use of the health and crisis accommodation services systems by program participants.
First developed in 2009, J2SI has supported hundreds of people experiencing homelessness to find stable housing and exit homelessness for good.
J2SI is a proven model for ending long-term homelessness and has been independently evaluated in two randomised control trials with the learnings incorporated in the SII as part of a continuous improvement practice.
In May 2021, as part of the State Budget, the Victorian Government invested an additional $15 million into J2SI for a further 120 Victorians experiencing homelessness to access the three-year program. The J2SI PAD is the first to be extended in Victoria and the third SII approach to be extended in Australia.
J2SI takes a relationship-based approach, provides long-term support, and works from the premise that if people can sustain their housing, this provides a solid foundation to improving other areas in their lives. It features three years of intensive support that wraps services around the person and places their needs at the centre of service delivery.
This includes supports to get and stay in housing, improving mental health and wellbeing, resolving drug and alcohol issues, building skills, increasing connection with community and contributing to society through economic and social inclusion.
Sacred Heart Mission CEO Cathy Humphrey says, “Our experience tells us that having the safety and stability of a home is the reason people experiencing long-term homelessness can achieve positive improvements in relation to their physical and mental health, substance use and employment.”
“It is more than just a ‘roof over one’s head’; J2SI is about wrap-around support from a dedicated case manager who is an advocate during times of hardship, and ensures people are linked into services which help sustain their tenancy.”
“J2SI improves the quality of participants’ lives in several tangible ways and these latest findings contribute to the continuous improvement of the program and support our ambition to scale J2SI nationally through the J2SI Evaluation and Learning Centre (ELC). In partnership with service providers, the ELC will enable J2SI to support more people out of chronic homelessness across Australia.”
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