Changing Lives is the first organisation in the country to receive funding from an innovative new programme led by The Big Issue.

The social investment arm of The Big Issue, Big Issue Invest (BII), has launched a £10m Outcomes Investment Fund to support charitable organisations that are working to tackle homelessness.

Changing Lives is the first organisation to receive an investment from the fund to help combat entrenched rough sleeping in Newcastle and Gateshead. The initiative will help get people off the streets and into stable, long-term accommodation as part of the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Homelessness Prevention Programme.

Working alongside other support services in the area, Changing Lives uses an asset-based approach that will bring the separate organisations together to the maximum benefit of the individual.

Stephen Bell OBE, Chief Executive of Changing Lives, said:

“We have been offering services to homeless people in Tyneside for over 40 years, and we are always striving to innovate the services that we provide.

“We are delighted to be working with BII as an investment partner, not just in respect of the loan but because we believe that we can learn from each other and ultimately inject new ideas as well as investment into the way that we support vulnerable rough sleepers in Newcastle and Gateshead.”

The new service provision from Changing Lives is being delivered in partnership with Oasis Aquila Housing. Oasis Aquila Housing is a housing and homelessness charity based in the North East of England with 30 years’ experience of delivering bespoke, effective services for vulnerably housed and homeless people. The service is commissioned by Newcastle and Gateshead councils.

Investments from £250,000 to £2m are being awarded to organisations that currently lead outcomes-based contracts from local authorities. These contracts see the local authorities only paying up to organisations if milestones are achieved in the service, rather than providing a lump sum to help the organisation set up and deliver the service from the start.

The new funding pot from BII will help alleviate this initial barrier, providing funding to get the ball rolling in new projects before targets have been hit and payment from the local authority starts coming in.

Katy Jones, BII Investment Director, said

“Outcomes-based contracts are becoming more and more relevant to the charities and social enterprises Big Issue Invest exists to support.

“The Outcomes Investment Fund allows us to support them through flexible funding and sharing the contract risk, so they can focus on achieving better life outcomes for vulnerable people.

“We are delighted to partner with Changing Lives to support people with multiple and complex needs to access housing, mental health and addictions support, and employment, education and training opportunities.

“With our organisations’ shared social mission and values, we look forward to developing the partnership further.”

According to latest figures from the National Audit Office, there are 4,447 people sleeping on the streets every night across Great Britain.

Organisations that are funded through this innovative new fund are backed by an investment of £10m from Big Society Capital with support from Barclays Bank, filling the hole in the coffers between payments in arrears from hitting targets.

Big Issue Invest is the social investment arm of The Big Issue Group, a social enterprise with a mission to dismantle poverty and create opportunity for people and communities across the UK. Since 2005, BII has supported charities and social enterprises to scale their social impact, deliver quality services, and achieve growth and financial sustainability through the provision of repayable finance.