Calgary Homeless Foundation is a trusted source of research and data for a range of stakeholders.
Our aim is to use data and research to transform the homeless-serving system of care in Calgary, ensuring that individuals are prevented from experiencing homelessness or only experience it for a brief and non-recurring instance.
To guide our work, Calgary Homeless Foundation has developed a vision with two components – applied research and agile analytics. Our vision is based on feedback from our Board of Directors, people with lived experience of homelessness, and the strategic directives outlined in Together to Zero.
A Vision Based on Practicality: Applied Research
The purpose of applied research is to inform everyday decision-making in the homeless-serving system of care. It helps us identify where people are falling through the gaps and provides practical solutions to seal those gaps.
In the past, Calgary Homeless Foundation tended to prioritize academic research. However, lessons arising from academia would only be published years after the landscape of the homeless-serving sector had changed, preventing us and our partner agencies from using them in a meaningful way. Academic research benefited scholars studying homelessness – but not necessarily the agencies of the homeless-serving sector or the vulnerable people we were helping.
As a result, Calgary Homeless Foundation has pivoted towards applied research to ensure we remain nimble in our operations. While we continue to pursue academic research through strategic partnerships, our new focus is on research that will facilitate decision-making in real time, so that we can help people who need our supports and services the most.
To understand what applied research looks like in practice, please visit our How We Use Research page.
A Vision Based on Data: Agile Analytics
Data is critical to Calgary Homeless Foundation’s’s work. Data informs which individuals need our help, which homeless-serving programs to fund, and serves as the basis for our applied research projects, which affect the system of care as a whole.
As a result, Calgary Homeless Foundation focuses on data that is:
captured in real-time;
shows how programs are affecting the quality of life of those who are experiencing homelessness.
We also want to be able to react quickly to new data and trends as they present themselves, so we can provide the most appropriate and timely help.
Agile analytics is an approach to data that achieves these aims. It uses intelligent tools to inform strategies to end homelessness, including broader metrics to monitor the effectiveness of the homeless-serving system and the automation of data analysis, so we can make evidence-based decisions.
Agile analytics is therefore a broader, more holistic approach to data that serves Calgary Homeless Foundation’s purpose. It ensures we remain nimble in the metrics we monitor, keeping us open to new discoveries about our clients and the sector and helping us to respond swiftly to those findings.
How Research and Data Inform Our Work
At Calgary Homeless Foundation, we know that research and data need to intersect and reinforce one another to create meaningful change in the system of care.
Looking at research and data together allows us to see the bigger picture. They provide different sources to help us understand how the system of care is working and to identify ways we can distribute resources more effectively.
Applied research and agile analytics are also collaborative in nature, which means Calgayr Homeless Foundation can work closely with other stakeholders in the system of care to support and influence change throughout the system.
Calgary Homeless Foundation
Rocky Mountain Plaza
Suite 1500, 615 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2G 4T8