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Every $1 invested against youth homelessness yields $2.21 social value, study finds

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For Change Co. (previously Society Melbourne) has released their Social Return on Investment (SROI) report, quantifying how much social value is created as a ratio of investment into the home.plate training program, which creates pathways out of youth homelessness for teens in Melbourne.  

The report by Social Ventures Australia (SVA) forecasts that For Change Co. will create $2.21 of social and economic value from every $1 invested in 2021. This, after a challenging year for its hospitality venues with the extended lockdown in 2020, is forecasted to increase its SROI in 2022 to $2.84 with an expansion of its employment and training program plus new venues.  

The report also provides quantifiable evidence of the home.plate training program in 2020. Despite having four out of five venues closed for most of the year during the Melbourne lockdown, it delivered a positive social return on investment. The report uses data from stakeholders, trainees in the program and an evaluation of operations to forecast growth in social return for the next two years.  

For Change Co. demonstrated agility and resilience in its business model during the Melbourne 2020 lockdown by using the lack of operations to strengthen the foundations of the organisation and pilot additional services.  

Following this extensive evaluation of the social enterprise, the report reveals three key areas to the success of the program. 

First, providing paid on-the-job training is essential to the unique value that the home.plate training program offers to beneficiaries. Secondly, For Change Co.’s strong relationships with housing and support providers offer young people wrap-around support throughout the program.  

Lastly, the post-graduate assistance provided in For Change Co.’s program is priceless. Post-graduate assistance supports trainees, ensuring that they are ready for their next employment or educational step once finished with the program.  

For Change Co.’s Co-founder & Managing Director Tenille Gilbert commented, “Thanks to Social Ventures Australia, we have a precise and systematic framework to ensure, as we expand and develop as an organisation, we will remain on track to maximise our social return on investment.” 

“However, as we pause briefly to celebrate this exciting result and maturing of our organisation, we are certainly not complacent. External monitoring and evaluation is essential to our ongoing success; taking learnings from this project, we will continue to improve our program to have the deepest impact possible on the lives of the young people that we exist to support into the future of their choosing.” 

For Change Co. (previously Society Melbourne) was born from the idea that Australians can make a difference to the 28,000 people currently experiencing youth homelessness every night. 

The enterprise runs some of the most sustainable social enterprises in Australia to support our evidence-based programs targeting young people at risk of homelessness. 

Every crêpe, coffee and jaffle have an impact, with 100% of the profits going towards key support impact areas; confidence, housing, employment, education & community. 

Founded initially with Crêpes for Change, For Change Co’s fast-growing model now counts five enterprises that boast high-quality products to fund an Australia where youth homelessness doesn’t exist. 

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