Chronic homelessness is a catastrophe and the result of multiple failures, both before and after the onset of homelessness. Homelessness results from system-wide breakdowns and requires system-wide engagement. Homeless service providers can’t solve this problem by themselves.
System-based predictive analytic tools can guide system-wide interventions to stop the cascade of failures. Linked administrative records from client contacts with public health, social service and law enforcement agencies can be used to reveal the course of individuals’ lives and match the right intervention with the right person.
The Roundtable is now working with Santa Clara County to tailor the Silicon Valley Triage Tool described in the HUD article to the data flow available to the county’s Center for Population Health Improvement.
In Los Angeles County, the Roundtable is analyzing 15 years of linked records of individuals who experienced homelessness to identify factors associated with a high probability of becoming chronically homeless. These predictive factors will be used to screen records of individuals who are newly homeless to identify those who are most likely to become chronically homeless and target them for immediate assistance.
We are using this data to develop two screening tools. One screening tool is for foster youth and the other is for employable adults. The predictive screening tools will identify people for whom the escape route from homelessness costs less than the problem of remaining homeless.