The Regional Command Center receives data gathered by volunteers using the Counting Us app and displays the results in real-time. Designated Count Administrators can use the built-in maps, dashboards, lists, and reports to monitor the incoming data, collaborate with volunteers, and after the count is over to produce the HUD Point in Time Report.
The Command Center contains key features to prepare for, manage, and finalize the count!
Preparing for the count...
- The Count Settings are where the unique "Setup Key" is defined. By entering in this key, the surveys and settings within the Counting Us app are automatically configured for the user!
- Region and Team Management features make it easy to split the Continuum of Care into subregions. Count team areas within these subregions are defined and volunteers can be associated to these teams. Volunteers will see the region(s) they are assigned to within the Counting Us app.
- Organizations and projects that do not participate in the region's Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) can be added to the command center so that surveys can be conducted for them using the Counting Us app.
- The Count Activity can be left in "Pre-Count" mode while Known Location Surveys are being conducted and people are being trained on the usage of the app. The Count can go live with just a simple click.
Managing the count...
- The Responses tab provides a real-time display of all incoming surveys and tallies in both list and map view. Regional count administrators can use these tools to validate the incoming submissions, guide count volunteers, and edit the data as needed.
- Admins have the option to modify the map view to show or hide various attributes.
- Map views can be layered by county, city/town, or zip code.
- The Dashboard summarizes key information, such as the total number counted, as well as demographics such as age, gender, and veteran status.
- Drilldown features from the dashboard greatly simplify the data cleanup process.
- GPS locations captured with each survey are used to associate the survey with the proper HUD Continuum of Care, County, City/Town and census tract.
Finalizing the count...
- Generate Point in Time Summary Reports for both the unsheltered and sheltered homeless populations. The reports meet HUD requirements, can be generated with just a couple of clicks, and contain drill-down logic to make it easy to see which records contribute to each report figure.
- Data can be exported so that it can be further analyzed using tools such as Tableau and Excel.
- Data and map-based filters make it easy to produce reports for a specific target population as well as for particular areas within a Continuum of Care.
Check out this Learning Lab to hear count administrators from CT, VA, and TX share how they use the tools within the Command Center to support the planning, management, and finalization of their PIT counts.
This YouTube playlist contains training videos for Count Administrators on how to use Counting Us and the Command Center to do everything from plan for the PIT Count, track responses in real time, to data clean up and reporting.