Victoria’s first Social Impact Investment helping 180 people experiencing homelessness

17 August 2018
Journey to Social Inclusion (J2SI) program logo

Sacred Heart Mission (SHM) will help people break the cycle of homelessness for 180 people over the next five years through the first Victorian Social Impact Investment (SII) with the Victorian Government.

From August 2018, SHM’s proven and innovative Journey To Social Inclusion Program (J2SI) will be expanded through a unique and bold SII partnership with government, the social services sector, investors and philanthropy.

Cathy Humphrey, CEO, says SHM is thrilled to have negotiated and now implement the state’s first SII, which focuses on achieving outcomes by creating lasting positive social change for communities and individuals.

“More than ten years ago, SHM set out to make a real impact to its community, and has since been testing, piloting and replicating a program that ends a person’s chronic homelessness permanently once and for all,” Cathy says.

“Extensively evaluating J2SI through a randomized control trial sets a new benchmark for addressing chronic homelessness in Australia.

“We are beyond proud to run one of the most effective programs to end homelessness in Australia, that will now be delivered to another 180 people through the state’s first SII.”

The SII is a financing structure set up to pay a return based on agreed achieved social outcomes such as people staying housed and a lower use of healthcare services.

“Negotiating a complex finance model to deliver the program has been no easy feat,” Cathy says.

“The SII brings together government, investors, philanthropy and SHM to share the risk of achieving outcomes for clients with the aim of achieving positive social change.”

Through the SII, J2SI will commence services from August for 180 participants (60 per year for three years), who will receive support for three years.

J2SI supports people experiencing chronic homelessness to achieve independence and improve their health and wellbeing outcomes through a housing-first approach, with intensive support over three years.

This next phase of J2SI will have a strong focus on rapid housing, which will be provided through head leasing arrangements with housing providers.

The SII will build on the lessons gathered through replicating the model, with promising outcomes being reported from the Phase 2 implementation which, in its first year, managed to stably house 60 per cent of program participants, compared to 30 per cent of those in the control study.

The SII will demonstrate the efficacy of replicating J2SI on a larger scale (40 in original pilot to 180 participants in the SII), and pave the way for the replication of the model in other state and territories across Australia.

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Housing, Martin Foley:

“We need new and innovative approaches, if we’re going to have any chance of breaking the cycle of homelessness once and for all.

“Journey to Social Inclusion takes an intensive, longer term approach to improving social outcomes for some of Victoria’s most vulnerable citizens and the Andrews Labor Government is proud to support such a pioneering initiative.

“The Social Impact Investment is a huge vote of confidence in the results that Sacred Heart Mission have been able to achieve with their Journey to Social Inclusion program to date and give them an opportunity to make an even greater impact.”

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas:

“A partnership like this is about getting on with the job of delivering for Victorians sleeping rough, with the Journey to Social Inclusion program making a real difference to those struggling to break free from chronic homelessness.

“A Victorian first, we’re unlocking philanthropic capital, and making more funds available to address some of the most pressing issues facing our society.”


When: Friday 17 August, 3pm – 4.15pm.
Where: The Bowl @ NAB, 500 Bourke Street, Ground Floor, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Who: Martin Foley MP, Minister for Housing, Disability and Ageing, Cathy Humphrey, SHM CEO, Karen Lococo, J2SI Manager, and Professor Paul Flatau, Director of the Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia.



Holly Cooper
Communication and Advocacy Manager
Phone: 0424 137 763