Data and Evaluation Committee Meeting Minutes – March, 2010

In Attendance: Lori Ingraham, Charlie Knight, Judge Robert Fields, Michael Doherty, Pamela Schwartz, Andrea Miller, Suzanne Smith.

Performance Measurement – Committee reviewed monthly family and individual ICHH report numbers.  We are on target to meet our benchmarks.

The committee also reviewed hotel entry numbers.  Accurate date on exits were not available.  In prior months, those numbers had been taken from the SHORE HMIS.  However, those records only record exits from shelter, not hotels, and are no longer considered an accurate reflection of exits from the system as families are now being re-housed out of hotels in greater volume.  The committee discussed and strategized solutions to the hotel exit data problem.  Numbers of families re-housed from hotels will need to be collected directly from providers as there is currently no reporting mechanism.  Weekly DHCD hotel census lists can be analyzed for families who drop off the lists.  However there will be no outcome information for those families not re-housed and tracked by providers.  Action: Suzanne will follow-up with a data collection plan.

The committee then reviewed the Point in Time count for Springfield.  The group discussed the extent to which the reason for homelessness data as reported accurately measures the true reasons for homelessness if one is forced to choose a category and the reasons are many.

Data for Video for April Event – Committee discussed data to be collected for possible inclusion in video or other materials for April 27th event, including:

  • National stats on success of housing first program with families
  • Springfield stats on housing first with individuals, incl. decline in # of homeless and housing retention rates
  • Cost of current approach vs. Housing First
    • Families: cost of motels, cost of transporting kids from shelters/motels to schools.
    • Individuals: cost of NOT doing housing first for chronically homeless individuals (ER health care, etc.) vs. cost of housing first (MHSA study).
  • Number of Families and Individuals rehoused.

General Update –  Suzanne reports that per communication with PVPC, the network can go forward with hiring a research assistant.  The assistant will be able to help with data collection efforts, recoding, and data entry.  Additionally, there is money to purchase a computer and software.  Purchase of hardware and software will facilitate the transition off  of the grant at the end of September, 2010 and will allow for the coding and other work involved with integration of data across the three continua to be owned by and reside within the network.  Suzanne also reported that she has access to data from all three continua of care now that data sharing MOUs between the data analyst and continua are in place., and has begun working with these data.

Housing Court Initiative – The data collection process at housing court is going well.  Suzanne gave an initial report to the providers at recent housing court meetings in Springfield, Greenfield, and Pittsfield in order to provide feedback on the data collection efforts and promote an understanding of the purpose of capturing the information.  The new research assistant, once hired, will begin the data entry for these forms.

Next meeting date– Given the timing of April school vacation, the Leadership Council meeting, and the April 27th Network event, an April meeting was not scheduled.  If input is needed for event, Suzanne will send any materials out for discussion by email.

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