Tackling homelessness, 2.0: Investing private $ for public good

Image used from givingcompass.org, highlighting an article on the Pay for Success model as a vehicle for systems change.

It is fair to say that before the coronavirus arrived to terrify us all, one public debate that has rankled and confounded Anchorage residents and policy makers is the rise of homelessness, including encampments along greenbelts, in public parks and on downtown streets near the Brother Francis Shelter.

Today’s Hometown Alaska looks at a new idea to tackle this sad and disheartening situation. It is called “Home for Good” and is a public-private partnership to focus resources on finding stable homes for individuals, based on the “pay-for-success” model. Pay-for-success simplified means that private investors put up their personal money for social programs that benefit the public. Independent evaluators monitor the programs and measure whether pre-determined outcomes are achieved. If they are, government entities agree to pay back the investors. If these outcomes are not met, investors lose their funding and taxpayers have not payed for an experiment that did not work.

How a Pay for Success model works; Private investors provide cash applied to social good that benefits the public. Independent evaluators determine whether pre-determined outcomes are met. If not, investors lose their funds and taxpayers have not financed an unsuccessful experiment. Used from the Stanford Social Innovation Review.

Because of social distancing, all of our guests are on the telephone today, calling in from their homes or offices. The program will feature two guests by phone during the first half hour, two guests by phone the second half hour, with a quick call from a fifth guest in the last portion of the program.

As always, your questions and comments are welcome throughout the program. Please join us to learn more about Anchorage’s next attempt to relieve the homelessness we see in Anchorage.

HOST: Kathleen McCoy

GUESTS:

  • Michele Brown, President and CEO of United Way of Anchorage
  • Ethan Berkowitz, Mayor of Anchorage
  • Diane Kaplan, President and CEO of Rasmuson Foundation
  • Dr. Dick Mandsager, Senior Fellow, Rasmuson Foundation
  • Jasmine Boyle, Executive Director, Coalition to End Homelessness

LINKS:

  • How Pay-For-Success works, a presentation in Alaska from August 2019 (PDF)
  • How Pay-For-Success works, a presentation in Alaska from January 2019 PDF
  • ‘A new promising approach to tackle homelessness,’ Commentary from Anchorage Daily News, March 14, 2020
  • Fact sheet provided to the Alaska Legislature on Pay-for-Success, Basis
  • Anchored Home, Municipality’s plan to end homelessness 2018-2021 (PDF)
  • AMHTA directs $650,000 for supported housing in Anchorage, Alaska Business, 2.11.2019
  • ‘We intend to succeed:’ $40 million investment pledged to end homelessness in Anchorage, Anchorage Daily News, 9.26.2019
  • Vote for Proposition 13, and hold the Municipality accountable, Commentary, Anchorage Daily News, 4.2.2020
  • United Way of Anchorage, President’s blog posts on Home for Good

PARTICIPATE:

  • Call 550-8433 (Anchorage) or 1-888-353-5752 (statewide) during the live broadcast (2:00 – 3:00pm)
  • Send e-mail to hometown@alaskapublic.org before, during or after the live broadcast (e-mails may be read on air)
  • Post your comment or question below (comments may be read on air
  • LIVE: Monday, April 6, 2020 at 2:00 p.m
  • RE-AIR: Monday, April 6, 2020 at 8:00 p.m.