Improving the efficacy and service quality of our supportive housing system is key to our efforts to end homelessness, and in partnership with local government, non-profit service providers and individuals with lived homelessness experience, we’ve identified opportunities to leverage data and technology to strengthen the system of care in Santa Clara County.
Several technology-focused projects are currently underway, including:
Announcing the TECHquity Fund
In an effort to bridge the gap in tech tools for our partners and neighbors in need, we have launched the Techquity Fund. The fund takes into account the unique needs of those experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity and homeless service providers.
Identifying Needs & Opportunities
Access to technology is now a basic need in our society, but for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, it can be hard to come by. In partnership with Homebase, we embarked on an assessment of our Supportive Housing System’s data and technology needs to identify steps we can take to improve service and build efficiencies.
Recognizing the new urgency surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic, we revisited the needs and opportunities identified, to bolster our system’s service in a remote working environment.
Current Priorities & Projects Underway
Responding to these needs and challenges, we are currently investing in actionable solutions to strengthen the supportive housing system.
Supporting Client Engagement & Expanding Access to Technology
- Developing a client-facing website portal empowering applicants with direct access to their information, and the status of their request for housing assistance, in the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). Voices of lived experience are informing the development of this resource, expected to launch Spring 2022.
- Providing service-seekers increased access to computers, the internet and charged cell phones throughout the community, including high-speed Wi-Fi access in each unit of PATH’s Villas on the Park, Amigos de Guadalupe’s Casitas de Esperanza community, Craig Gardens Senior Apartments and a flagship technology hub at Sacred Heart Community Service, the coordinating organization of the Homelessness Prevention System.
Bolstering Provider Capacity & Infrastructure
- Upgrading supportive housing system service providers’ computers, networking tools, and other equipment and software, including providing more than 80 laptops and other tools to dozens of grassroots COVID relief partners, thanks in part to a donation from HP.
- Offering the support, training, and coordination necessary to integrate new data and technology initiatives across the system.
Enhancing Reporting, Analytics & Data sharing
- Seizing opportunities to better utilize data to improve services and initiatives, starting by funding a new research and evaluation role within the Office of Supportive Housing, to improve data analysis and utilization across the system.
- Integrating data from outside the supportive housing system to enable richer analysis and improved coordination among social services.
- Training service providers on how to optimize use of the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) to meet their specific reporting needs, improving efficiency and reducing a time-consuming burden.
Improving Data Collection & Integration in Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
- Streamlining how data is captured and stored to reduce duplicative efforts among partners.
Destination: Home welcomes additional partners in increasing the efficiency of our supportive housing system. To contribute to our data & technology initiatives, please contact Maureen@destinationhomesv.org.