It’s time to Pay For Success

OLYMPIA — Today, Nathaniel Jones continued his calls for bold dynamic change by rolling out his Pay For Success plan.

“Current methods to combat homelessness are not working,'' Councilmember Jones said. “Government red tape prevents our partners from being fully productive. Smart, streamlined organizations in our community can successfully move someone off the streets and into a home for as little as $1,000- a substantial savings over current costs. It’s time to Pay For Success, not endless process.”

Rather than traditional government grants, the Pay For Success plan will pay qualified organizations on a fee-for-outcome basis, similar to the effective Medicaid model.  For profit, non-profit, faith communities- any organization capable of achieving defined outcomes will be considered. Instead of paying for a set of services, we pay for results, and we let the contractor use innovation to perform.

For 2020, Jones proposed identifying key objectives (metrics to define success and operating parameters, etc), and a pool of $250,000 to pilot this approach.  What is success? 150-250 people moved from homelessness into homes. With expected results, the program will expand in 2021 and beyond. 

How to pay for it?  Jones has identified several potential funding sources.  As the City debates and finalizes its budget over the next two months, this pilot can become reality- with your help.  “I believe in paying for success,” says Jones. “If you agree with this approach, help me in the coming weeks by saying so. You can help tremendously as the City Council makes budget trade-offs.  To make this happen, I need your help.”    

Rebuilding the system requires innovation and piloting feasible approaches.  With Pay for Success, we debut a new cost-conscious model to address Olympia’s most urgent challenge.