October 17, 2019

Homelessness Research

Simtech Solutions developed and maintains a robust HMIS data warehouse that is being used by regions throughout the US to address their Federal reporting needs while also providing tools to measure the effectiveness of their efforts to help end homelessness. Hosted at HomelessData.com, this turn-key data integration platform allows regions to enjoy all of the benefits of their own HMIS data warehouse without the costs and time associated with attempting to build one on their own.  

Data warehousing creates a platform to integrate data and provides a more complex and complete picture of people experiencing homelessness in a given region or community – even for communities that use multiple software vendors.  Examples of how the tools within HomelessData can be put to use include:

  • Community-wide identification and prioritization of people experiencing homelessness in a manner that is consistent with HUD guidance;
  • Data quality monitoring tools and public-facing performance dashboards provide consistent oversight of all homeless operations without regard to the HMIS software being used in a region;
  • HomelessData.com enables the building of a longitudinal picture of each person’s interactions with the homeless system across regions.  This “case history” provides the following benefits: 
    • Allows staff to ascertain what services and financial resources are being provided already. This minimizes duplication of efforts and “double dipping” while helping to target resources effectively.
    • Supports improved data quality.  Missing destination info can be completed by looking at future project enrollments; the chronic homeless status can be validated by looking at the actual (not self reported) homeless history; and clients that appear to be simultaneously enrolled in multiple residential projects are flagged for review.  
    • Useful for measuring the true costs of homelessness.
    • Improves the quality and effectiveness of service delivery.  By being able to see a client’s history, case managers can target service plans.
  • Generates all Federal reports required by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), including…
    • Annual Performance Reports (APRs)
    • HUD Data Quality Report
    • ESG CAPER Reports
    • Point in Time
    • Housing Inventory Charts
    • System Performance Measures

The gallery of reports available “out of the box” to regions of any size can be seen here.