Promising Social Impact Bond (SIB) applications span a range of issue areas and geographies. The following vulnerable populations could benefit from SIB-funded interventions:
CHRONICALLY HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS
In 2011, there were approximately 110,000 long-term homeless individuals across the United States. The chronically homeless tend to impose substantial costs on public systems, as they make frequent use of emergency rooms, mental health and substance abuse facilities, jails, and shelters. Permanent supportive housing (PSH), affordable housing with access to services such as case management and behavioral health care, has been shown to be enormously effective with this population. PSH encourages residential stability, improves health and management of chronic illness, and decreases the use of safety-net services.
JUVENILE AND ADULTS OFFENDERS
States spend more than $50 billion a year on corrections, with some governments shifting funds away from education and other critical public-sector investments to keep offenders locked up. Meanwhile, detaining and incarcerating juvenile and adult offenders who don’t pose clear public safety risks have no beneficial effect on either population, as evidenced by high recidivism rates across the country. Community-based alternatives to locked facilities, as well as adult reentry programs show promise in lowering re-offending rates and facilitating better outcomes.
LOW-INCOME SENIOR CITIZENS
Seniors are a growing demographic nationwide, now accounting for 13 percent of the total US population and projected to grow to 20 percent by 2050. When they can no longer live independently, many seniors must enter costly nursing facilities, even if they need acute care only for a short time. Low-income seniors who move into these facilities and who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare impose significant costs on the government. Yet, numerous alternative care or “aging-in-place” interventions that allow seniors to remain in their communities can provide the extra care seniors need at much lower cost than nursing homes.