Regional count administrators are often tasked with compiling results for the annual point in time count from a variety of sources. Mobile tech such as Counting Us is used for the unsheltered count and domestic violence programs need offline tools for data collection and reporting. There are programs that participate in HMIS, and then there are those that do not. Simtech has developed a framework, described below, to support the process of gathering count results from all of these various sources.
How does it work?
To support the results gathering process, Simtech Solutions first needed to author a data exchange format that could be used to allow these various data sources to produce results in a common format.
The Point in Time Results File Format has been implemented within the four different reporting solutions developed by Simtech Solutions, and this format is available for other software vendors to adopt as well. Below are the steps for producing this "PIT Results" file from the various Simtech tools...
Compiling the Results
Once all of a region's different report sources have been exported into the results exchange format, they can then be sent via zip file to the Simtech Solutions help desk with a request to aggregate the results into a single Point in Time report for the region. Alternatively, you can open up the Results File in Excel and simply copy/paste rows of results files from the various sources in and use =Sum() to create the total figures.
After the results have been gathered, estimates need to be made to account for surveys that were missing responses for key demographic categories such as gender, race, and ethnicity. HUD has provided the PIT Count Data Extrapolation Tool to assist with this step.
Submit the Report to HUD
You will need to log into HUD HDX to submit the official Point in Time and Housing Inventory Chart information for your region.
Analyze the Results
With the PIT and HIC information submitted, it is now time to look at your results to see whether or not your region is making progress in your work towards ending homelessness. Guidance for how to update the Point In Time Trends dashboard with your final count figures can be found here.
You Are Not Alone
We are here for you if you would like to take a "deeper dive" with your data, or if you have questions about this automated approach to conducting a regional Point in Time count and generating meaningful output from it. Ending homelessness is a team effort and we have your backs when it comes to the tech.