Independent research commissioned by a leading homelessness charity has shown that every £1 invested in its young persons’ services produces £5.95 of social value.
Porchlight, which works throughout Kent and Croydon, commissioned the social value and impact consultancy CAN Invest to evaluate one of its Canterbury-based young persons’ services using the Social Return on Investment (SROI) methodology.
Porchlight and CAN Invest spent a year carrying out research involving extensive interviews and surveys with major stakeholders including partner organisations in the public and non-profit sectors, funders and the young people receiving support from the charity.
Rohan Martyres from CAN Invest said: “Through its vital work, Porchlight’s young persons’ service delivers a range of both economic and social outcomes to all stakeholders. This independently assured, SROI analysis articulates the connections between these outcomes, and importantly, provides a forecast of their social value to a range of stakeholders.”
He explained the SROI methodology and the £5.95 : £1 ratio, saying: “SROI is about value rather than money, but we used monetary terms to communicate the different outcomes and the value Porchlight created, because money is literally a ‘common currency’ and a widely accepted way of conveying value.”
Mike Barrett, Chief Executive at the charity said: “As far as we are aware, this is one of the few times that a homelessness charity has been able to put a reasonable figure on its benefit to society and the taxpayer. It is essential for us to be able to demonstrate our value to funders at a time when services are being cut.
“We are offering much more than a roof over somebody’s head. We are working hard to reintegrate people into society and make sure they can live independently in the future. We do this by focusing on education and employment and giving young people the lifeskills they need to make a valuable contribution to our communities and achieve their aspirations. The result of all that is less pressure on local authorities, the criminal justice system, the NHS and, perhaps most importantly, putting young people back into society with a renewed outlook on life.”
Porchlight’s services for young people in Canterbury include a direct access hostel, medium stay hostel and several shared houses accommodating a total of almost 40 young people aged 16-21. They are run by 9 full-time staff and 1 manager.
The report draws the following conclusions:
- £15,000 invested in a young person at Porchlight will likely return approximately £86,000 of social value.
- It is forecast that Porchlight’s Canterbury-based young persons’ services will require funds and social inputs valued at £726,000 in 2013/14 and this will create approximately £4,322,000 worth of social value.
- £1,900,000 of social value will accrue to the young people themselves (£12,300 per individual), who experience a range of outcomes including increased likelihood of employment, better social networks and a reduction on long-term homelessness.
- £2,248,000 of social value will accrue to Local Authority Housing and Social Services (£45,000 per individual) who avoid costs of housing homeless individuals and can allocate resources away from supporting homeless people to other groups in need.
- £101,000 of social value will accrue to YPS Users’ families due to improved relationships and savings on food, accommodation, leisure and recreation costs.
- £73,000 of social value will accrue to the NHS due to factors including: improved physical health, reduced alcohol and drug misuse and improved mental and emotional health.
The charity will now be using the SROI model to evaluate the rest of its services.
To read the full SROI report visit www.porchlight.org.uk/publications