Pay for Success (PFS), a financing mechanism used to support evidenced-based social and environmental interventions, has recently been explored by the City of Boise. In 2016 Idaho Policy Institute’s (IPI) Assistant Director Vanessa Fry tested the feasibility of utilizing PFS as a means to address issues related to chronic homelessness in Ada County. As a result, community stakeholders determined Housing First would be implemented in Ada County. Although the community decided not to utilize PFS financing for the project, its exploration enabled community members to realize the true costs of chronic homelessness.
Other cities are taking notice of Boise’s efforts. The National League of Cities invited Fry and Boise’s Director of Community Partnerships, Diana Lachiondo, to present the community’s work at a recent webinar, “Cities Leading: A Closer Look at City-led Efforts to Improve Social Outcomes Through Innovative Financing Approaches.” Other presenters included Harvard’s Government Performance Lab, The Urban Institute and the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Over 150 people from cities across the country attended the webinar.