Developing an Accurate “By Name List” of People Experiencing Homelessness Using Mobile Tech for Outreach

 

The concerns over COVID present a unique opportunity to pivot away from a volunteer-driven Point in Time (PIT) count and replace this process with data that is collected throughout the year with the aid of outreach staff and first responders. This approach is supported within HUD’s Conducting the 2021 Unsheltered PIT Count guidance as well as by Simtech’s technical framework.           Ongoing outreach efforts supported with effective data collection tools such as Simtech’s Show the Way (STW) Outreach app, would reduce the need for a separate Point-In-Time (PIT) count activity, improve data quality, and support the ongoing management of a “by name list” of people living unsheltered in your region. The data gathered by outreach workers in STW can be cross-referenced with data in the region’s Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS). 

 

HUD Guidance on the Usage of HMIS and Other unsheltered data

 

How It Works

 Your Continuum of Care (CoC) shelter providers continue to enter project and client level data into HMIS. This data is exported to the HomelessData.com and with consent from providers is made available to Show the Way. 


Outreach workers provide services and record interactions of people experiencing homelessness (PEH) using Show the Way. In doing so, the outreach staff are curating an active “by name list” of those who are unsheltered in the CoC. With the aid of data integration, anyone on this active list can be removed from the PIT report if he/she was enrolled in a shelter or housing project in the COC for the night of the count. This data can further be refined with the aid of any volunteers who are willing and able to conduct surveys using Counting Us as part of the “traditional” point in time count activities. More details on this innovative approach to better connect with and support our unsheltered neighbors can be found in this short video: