Interesting article on Co.Exist: Facing a Homelessness Crisis, New York City Pinpoints Vulnerable Families by Mining Eviction Filings.
Among homeless families, about one in three first enter the shelter system after experiencing an eviction. But for the few hundred prevention and outreach staff at the NYC Department of Homeless Services, reaching these families before they show up at a shelter is like trying to find a needle in a haystack–only 5% of the some 200,000 eviction notices filed in New York each year cause families to become homeless.
The model is still being tested, but SumAll Foundation CEO Stefan Heeke says he’s excited about the impact of the work. “We can confidently say that we are in a position to make that prediction,” he says. “The idea is to create an application–literally a map–where we can basically point out the hotspots or the buildings or even the addresses where eviction filings are happening and which are likely to result in homelessness.”
Right now, he says, they’re working on developing a dashboard that DHS staff will be able to use to help plan their day. That might involve social workers visiting a building and leaving information about legal services, housing programs, and other services that might keep the family in a home.