Paying for Success in Los Angeles

Published Thursday, November 17, 2011 | by Jessica LaBarbera

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Los Angeles City and County officials gathered yesterday with local and regional foundations to explore the potential for Pay for Success contracting in Los Angeles.

The group acknowledged that funding preventative social services and basing payment on outcomes achievement represented a huge culture shift from the current norm, but many agreed that Los Angeles is a place where these kinds of innovations could take hold.  As evidence, participants cited the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative collaboration that the city mobilized to coordinate a Los Angeles-based response to federal grant programs, proving that the ecosystem was ready for public private partnerships. It was clear from today‚Äôs event that there is collective will to move this innovative means of financing social services forward.

Aileen Adams, Deputy Mayor for the Office of Strategic Partnerships, City of Los Angeles and Sushma Rama, President of Southern California Grantmakers, welcomed the group and Drew von Glahn, Managing Director and Co-Founder of Third Sector Capital Partners, provided an overview of the theory, opportunities and developing market around Pay for Success models in the US and abroad. Angie Kim, Program Director of SCG and Ruben Gonzalez, Senior Advisor at the Center for the Study of Social Policy, facilitated an exploratory discussion on areas of potential application in Los Angles. Attendees then met in small groups to discuss key players and specific issues where PFS could have traction in Los Angeles in the realms of housing/homelessness, education, and juvenile recidivism as well as paths for moving forward in these arenas. Ruben Gonzalez and Angie Kim are taking the lead in following up with individual attendees to determine next steps for the subgroups