Leveraging data to produce better outcomes, particularly for those rejoining our communities after incarceration, is a priority of our partners at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
Last year, due in part to the Foundation’s generous support of our initiatives, CSH was able to launch a far-reaching effort that focuses on using criminal justice and homelessness data to ensure those leaving incarceration will successfully reintegrate into communities, thereby reducing recidivism and improving public safety.
In May 2017, CSH selected four counties – Salt Lake County (Utah), Boone County (Missouri), Clark County (Nevada) and McLean County (Illinois) – to receive our assistance to integrate data from their homelessness response and criminal justice agencies to better match eligible individuals with supportive housing, which could be financed through the use of the private-public-philanthropic funding found in Pay For Success partnerships and contracts.
Supportive housing provides affordable homes and access to critical services (healthcare, employment training) that help break the costly cycle of individuals leaving incarceration, struggling through homelessness and then returning to jail or prison. And Supportive housing has been shown to reduce the likelihood that those leaving jails and prisons will re-offend. Several studies conclude the stability associated with supportive housing is key to successfully reintegrating the formerly incarcerated into communities and lowering crime rates.
Pay For Success uses up-front private funding to ensure the most positive outcomes for individuals and communities, reduce the financial risk to government, and maximize public resources.
In October 2017, funds from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation were again evident when CSH announced Los Angeles County’s Just in Reach (JIR), a new health-based housing program that will reduce jail recidivism and help end homelessness among people experiencing repeat jail stays. Over the next 3 1/2 years, JIR will place 300 homeless individuals who are currently in custody within the county jail, and who have a mental health and/or substance-use disorder, into supportive housing.
The innovative public-private partnership is the region’s first program to be funded through a Pay For Success financial model.
CSH is committed to spurring greater coordination and integration among homeless/housing and criminal justice agencies, and the support from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation is helping to bring our work in this area to scale.
This is important for delivering better services and effectively matching vulnerable people to supportive housing, and changing the trajectory of their lives away from crime, poverty and homelessness. This also sets the stage to further explore how we can create more supportive housing by leveraging Pay For Success financing, using the private and philanthropic dollars that come with it, and ensuring scarce resources are spent effectively and only for successful outcomes.
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