With this data, we can anticipate the needs of people experiencing homelessness and develop effective and innovative ways to improve the programs and services we help fund.
Data: Measuring Needs and Monitoring Success
When people experiencing homelessness approach an agency, they fill out a questionnaire that is entered into the HMIS and reviewed by Calgary Homeless Foundation and other agencies at weekly meetings.
Based on the data, we determine the severity of their need and connect them to appropriate programs and services. This process, called “triaging,” is at the heart of what we do and you can learn more about it here.
In addition to assessing people’s needs, Calgary Homeless Foundation also looks at data to determine if programs are achieving their aims and if people are receiving the best care and help.
Data: Informing Research and Improving the System of Care
Data also provides the raw material for Calgary Homeless Foundation to conduct research, which helps us identify ways we can improve the system of care.
For example, in 2017, we helped house 109 people who had been living in shelters for years, thanks to data from Calgary Alpha House Society, The Calgary Drop In & Rehab Centre and The Mustard Seed Shelter.
The data revealed that adults who had been chronically homeless for 5, 10, and sometimes 20 years, were falling through the cracks because their needs were never “acute” enough on the existing scoring system to be triaged for housing.
As a result, Calgary Homeless Foundation launched a pilot program providing housing spaces for 109 chronic shelter users. The discovery also changed the way we assess clients’ needs.
You can read more about how data and research changed people’s lives here.
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Rocky Mountain Plaza
Suite 1500, 615 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 4T8