Data Influences Development of Plan to End Homelessness

Author: Jake Cowan and Tom Kingsley
Date Posted: August 26, 2011

During 2005 and 2006, Community Link, formerly known as the the Community Services Planning Council (CSPC), worked with a local Leadership Committee providing research and project management to develop a Ten-Year Plan to End Chronic Homelessness. CSPC data and research was influential in bringing a diverse set of government, nonprofit and private sector leaders to adopt a housing-first approach that aims to end homeless. The Leadership Committee was moved to this housing-first orientation by evidence presented by the CSPC that the old model of managing chronic homeless had not resulted in any long term improvement for persons experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County.

CSPC worked with Sacramento County Department of Human Assistance who conducted a point-in-time survey of homeless persons in Sacramento County to make this case. Of the 123 homeless persons who responded to their survey, 74 (60 percent) met the criteria for being considered “chronically homeless.” These individuals were long-term residents in Sacramento County, with physical and/or mental disabilities. CSPC also provided information about local programs, as well as programs in other communities, that have made progress towards ending chronic homelessness.

CSPC’s research was synthesized for inclusion in the Ten-Year Plan document, which was unanimously approved by both the Sacramento County Board of Supervisors and the Sacramento City Council in September 2006. A Director of the Ending Chronic Homelessness Initiative has been hired to oversee implementation of the plan. In addition, a Policy Board is being put in place to provide oversight to the implementation.

This story was initially published in Stories: Using Information in Community Building and Local Policy in June 2007.

This story was written by staff at the Urban Institute, drawn from documents and interviews with Katrina Middleton of the Community Services Planning Council. Community Link Capital Region was the Sacramento partner in the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a learning network coordinated by the Urban Institute, at the time of the story. All partners ensure communities have access to data and the skills to use information to advance equity and well-being across neighborhoods.

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