Homeless Link’s Social Investment Fund is the first of its kind, exclusively for the homelessness sector.
Social investments awarded to youth homelessness organisations
Homeless Link is delighted to announce that Doorway in Warwickshire, and the East Anglia Anchorage Trust, both of which support young people experiencing or at risk of homelessness, have successfully drawn down investments from our Social Investment fund.
We worked closely with both organisations during the applications process and visited them to understand the way they work and their plans for the future and how the social investments would enable them to achieve their ambitions. We’re confident that the funding will help to support the long-term sustainability of the organisations and increase their social impact.
We are also very excited about the difference our fund can make to the homelessness sector, particularly at a time when our members are facing so many challenges including the need to diversify income streams while there is a reduction in more traditional sources of funding.
With this in mind, we hope other organisations looking to explore the potential of social investment will consider applying to our fund. We are currently working with several potential investees that are looking to use this type of funding – a blend of loans and grants – to strengthen organisational infrastructure, build capacity and pursue or expand revenue-generating initiatives.
You can find out a little more about our first investment recipients here, including why social investment was right them, and what it will help them accomplish.
Doorway works with young people aged 16-to-25 who are homeless or threatened with homelessness in Warwickshire. Its advice service helps them to find suitable accommodation with support. The organisation also runs a variety of activities and events, which aid confidence, build social skills and develop life skills.
Doorway has been awarded a £35,000 social investment by Homeless Link, which is being used to support its long-term sustainability, helping to ensure it can continue to provide much-needed and valued support for over 400 vulnerable young people each year.
Doorway is a successful, small independent charity. The trustees and senior management team had considered various options for increasing Doorway’s financial resilience and identified the benefits of focusing on fundraising capacity. The team was seeking to build upon its excellent local connections by developing strong new funding partnerships with the aim of unlocking new income streams and increasing unrestricted income.
The flexibility of social investment made it the right option for this work, as it is difficult to attract other types of funding for capacity and infrastructure building initiatives.
“Doorway was delighted to be one of Homeless Link’s first social investment recipients. We are a small, local charity and naturally, our Trustees gave considerable thought about whether this was the way forward for us. Homeless Link was extremely supportive throughout the process, explaining things clearly and responding to any queries. The investment is helping us to progress with our Business Plan aims and we are now developing our new fundraising strategy.” Carol Gallagher, CEO of Doorway
East Anglia Anchorage Trust
East Anglia Anchorage Trust provides vital support for young people, in transition, who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, helping them into employment and to achieve positive change. Its strong partnerships with landlords, employers and local businesses in Norfolk, enable it to provide good quality, safe, affordable accommodation alongside tailored support packages of counselling, training and employment placements and opportunities.
In the two years since its creation, the Anchorage Trust has housed and supported 91 young people. 32 of whom have since found permanent employment and 12 of whom have taken up full-time training or apprenticeships.
The charity has been awarded a £25,000 social investment by Homeless Link, which is being used to provide additional working capital to support its tenancy programme, helping even more young people out of homelessness and into secure housing.
As part of the charity’s strategy, trustees and senior management identified a need to boost its working capital in order to build on its work so far and ensure its long-term sustainability. As a relatively new organisation with a short track record, it was difficult to raise such funding from traditional sources, and the trustees recognised that social investment from a “sector friendly” fund was the ideal solution.
“We are very grateful for the social investment which has enabled us to continue to support our young people and look at growth within the charity.” Colin Lang MBE, CEO of East Anglia Anchorage Trust
The Homeless Link Investment Fund is a resource for charities and social enterprises working to reduce homelessness across England, offering flexible, unsecured funding of amounts between £25,000 and £150,000 via a blend of loans and grants. We have a total of £4.5 million to invest by May 2020 and are open to new applications.
To enquire about receiving an investment, please contact Jaishree Mistry at email@example.com or 020 7840 4435.
The programme is provided through the Growth Fund, which is managed by Access - the Foundation for Social Investment with funding provided by the Big Lottery Fund and Big Society Capital.
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As the new Investment Manager at Homeless Link, I am looking forward to working with our members to explore and use social investment to unlock new ways of working to overcome these challenges and ensure long-term sustainability.
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