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Homes and hope

How two new social enterprises are breaking the cycle of homelessness

How two new social enterprises are breaking the cycle of homelessness

Trapped in a downward spiral and with inadequate support, young homeless people often resort to desperate measures to get a roof over their head. Using innovative social finance, two new social enterprises are working to break that cycle, providing young people with the help and support they need to turn their lives around.

Desperate times

Things could have worked out very differently for Chris if he hadn’t found the right support. “I was a heroin user for almost ten years. I came to P3 just before Christmas after a period of sleeping rough and living in a tent. I’d tried killing myself a couple of times as I just didn’t see the point in living. I was desperate.”

“At P3 I get 24-hour support, so if I’m having issues at any time of day I know I have someone to turn to. I’ve now been off drugs for nearly six months and feel like a completely different person.”

Chris was one of the lucky ones, but sadly young homeless people like him frequently fall through the net. Dismissed by some as ‘too hard to help’ due to their complex problems, these vulnerable individuals receive little support and easily fall into crime, substance abuse and long-term benefit dependency.

New ambition

P3 - supporting homeless people in gloucestershireP3 is a charity and social enterprise that believes everyone deserves a chance to be part of their community. Together with three other charities – CCP, YMCA Derbyshire and The Y – P3 has formed Ambition East Midlands and Aspire Gloucestershire; two new social enterprises to provide innovative and intensive support to homeless people in their local areas.

Ambition and Aspire have secured payment by results agreements under the Fair Chance Fund, a £15m Government scheme set up to support young homeless people into accommodation and work. To raise the money needed to finance the delivery of their Fair Chance Fund programmes, they turned to Triodos Bank’s Corporate Finance team.

“We passionately believe that these new services will fundamentally change the lives of young people around the country,” says Mark Simms, CEO at P3. “However, with traditional methods of funding disappearing we had to look at new ways to find the finance that we needed to bring the project to life.”

Innovative investment

Triodos structured the first ever social impact bonds (SIBs) to benefit from Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR) in a bid to encourage more investment into social projects. SIBs work on a payment-by-results basis, so investors are only rewarded if a set of agreed social outcomes are met. In the case of Aspire and Ambition, SITR helped the investments to offer an attractive potential return equivalent to 19.3% per annum for three years.

“I’ve lost years of my life and missed growing up, but I want to look forward to the things I can enjoy in the future.”

 Chris, P3 service user

This, combined with the social impact, was a key factor in the SIBs closing fully subscribed having raised £910,000; capital which will enable Ambition and Aspire to support young homeless people in Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Gloucestershire.

“We will now be able to give nearly 500 young people, who previously would have gone unsupported, the chance to play a positive part in their communities and live fulfilling lives,” explains Mark.

 Moving on

Chris says, “I know I’ve lost years of my life and missed growing up, but I want to look forward to the things I can enjoy in the future. I’m now moving on to supported accommodation for six months and then hopefully into my own place, something I’d have never have expected to happen a year ago.”

P3 has changed Chris’ life, and with the funding from these SIBs, Ambition and Aspire will be able to help many more like him.


Find out more about how Triodos Bank is helping charities to use Social Impact Bonds to support vulnerable groups.



The Fair Chance Fund is a £15m fund which will pay for sustained housing, employment and educational support for homeless 18 to 24 year olds. Commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and supported by Cabinet Office, the Fair Chance Fund is a 100% payment by results programme. After a nationwide competitive process, Ambition has secured a £2.95m agreement to work with 340 young homeless people in Leicestershire and Derbyshire, while Aspire has secured a £1.45m agreement to work with 150 young homeless people in Gloucestershire. Triodos raised the required working capital through two social impact bonds enabling the charities to deliver the programmes ahead of being able to claim for outcome payments.




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frontofthebus 5 years ago

fantastic work in taking this on. Just seems govt used to fund this work. Now banks and business, the people who oppose decent wage, hours, welfare increases, etc and make poverty worse , then seek to be heroes solving it in part only, with their largesse.