The Sacramento Homeless Response System Dashboard has been updated with data on homelessness through December 31, 2020.
The dashboard shows trends in data received from homeless services providers about people experiencing homelessness throughout the year in Sacramento. This information includes living situations; demographics; the number of persons entering and exiting homelessness; and outcomes on whether individuals are housed, sheltered, or continue to experience homelessness.
The most significant element of note for the Homeless Response System data for 2020 is an overall decline in the number of people experiencing homelessness that are accessing the system.
We know the reduction in homelessness reflected in the dashboard is influenced by the impacts of COVID-19, with fewer connections being made due to more persons and families isolating themselves while sheltering in place and fewer programs offering in-person services to protect the health and safety of providers and homeless populations. The data is also highly variable based on the availability of resources and services.
Provided at the bottom of the page is additional month-by-month inflow and outflow data in the system in 2020. As in previous years, the system was highly fluid from month to month because of fluctuations in persons entering and exiting the system.
We recognize that the data and the dashboard itself are imperfect and come with inherent limitations, including the limited ability to capture data on all persons experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County. We know that while there are more than 50 agencies participating in the HMIS, there are more agencies providing services in the county that are not entering data into the system.
To further improve data, we continue to work with funders and service providers to increase the coverage rate. In addition, the Sacramento Continuum of Care Board voted at its December 2020 meeting to partner with the Institute for Social Research (ISR) to compare existing HMIS data with data from a sample of people currently experiencing unsheltered homelessness in our community.
SSF will work with ISR to analyze data from the HMIS, which captures information about homelessness in our community. This HMIS data is collected throughout the year and aggregated into a By-Name List, a list of individuals experiencing homelessness in our community who are currently connected to homeless services.
This work will help researchers determine the consistency between people we know are unsheltered based on the HMIS data that already exists and survey data collected from people who are unsheltered right now. Understanding the degree of overlap between the HMIS and a sample of all people experiencing unsheltered homelessness will help our organization better understand the gaps we need to improve upon.
Any results of this research will be available as part of the periodic updates of the Sacramento Homeless System Dashboard. Continued use and sharing of this data will help to improve the quality and coverage of data for our community.
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