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The New York State Homeless Information Management System

Summary

Publications & Results

Prototype

Press Releases & News Stories

Partners

Funding Sources

Scope of Work

Related Web Sites

Contact Information

Summary
The goal of professionals in the homeless services field is to increase self-sufficiency, reduce recidivism, reduce dependence on public assistance, and improve overall life skills of the homeless populations.The various service programs provided to homeless people are designed to reduce public assistance costs by helping people achieve permanent independence.

Program managers do have quarterly aggregated statistical reports from shelter and service providers regarding the numbers of people being served for payment purposes. However, information about service effectiveness is mostly anecdotal. In 1999, there was little evidence to either support or demonstrate the programs were achieving their intended objectives.

State and local program managers need access to data across service programs and over time to determine the most effective mix of services for particular client populations. This type of data resides in various separate systems or in paper records. As a result, it is unclear that these goals are being systematically achieved.

The investigation, conducted as part of CTG's Using Information in Government Program, included the design and development of a prototype system to help the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Bureau of Housing Services decide if it was:


Publications & Results
Online Resources (1)
Insider's Guide Cover
Insider's Guide to Using Information in Government
Wed, 01 Nov 2000
Every day, the people inside government use information to develop policies, make decisions, evaluate programs, and deliver services. This Web resource draws from real agency experiences to provide a practical resource for government professionals who use information to do their jobs.

Reports and Working Papers (1)
Reports Cover
Putting Information Together
Tue, 01 Feb 2000 >Download PDF
Organizations spend millions of dollars putting information together in data warehouses, but as many as 50 to 80 percent of those projects fail. This report, which summarizes the fourth seminar in the UIG Seminar Series, highlights the lessons learned from the creation of the prototype Homeless Information Management System.

Public Events

Putting Information Together:
Building Integrated Data Repositories
February 9, 2000
Integrating related data from multiple sources into one repository presents many challenges. This seminar highlights the management, policy, and technology challenges faced by the NYS Bureau of Housing Services and their local partners in the collaborative effort to develop an integrated data repository to support the assessment of services to the homeless population. The Homeless Information Management System prototype data repository will also be showcased. The summary report "Putting Information Together: Building Integrated Data Repositories" is available.

Prototype
The Homeless Information Management System (HIMS) prototype demonstrated that integrating related data from multiple sources into one repository presents many challenges. Many of the lessons learned from building this prototype are included in the Putting Information Together seminar summary. The summary highlights the management, policy, and technology challenges faced by the NYS Bureau of Housing Services and their local partners in the collaborative effort to develop an integrated data repository to support the assessment of services to the homeless population. The prototype HIMS data repository was showcased at the seminar.

Press Releases & News Stories
Press Releases

Meet the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA)
Thu, 05 Jul 2001

First Gateways Project Chosen
Fri, 29 Jun 2001

Serving the Needs of the Homeless with HIMS
Fri, 01 Oct 1999


Partners
Government Partners

Corporate Partners

Academic Partners

Center for Technology in Government

Participants


Funding Sources
This project was funded by a portion of CTG's New York State budget allocation.

Original Scope of Work

Project Goals and Objectives

The immediate goal of this project is to determine the feasibility of creating and using an integrated information resource to assess the effectiveness of services to homeless families and single adults. It seeks to identify the policy, management, and technology barriers to producing a comprehensive integrated information resource and to determine whether and how they can be overcome. In addition, one of the expected benefits from the use of the integrated information is new knowledge about the effectiveness of programs. This new knowledge can be directly applied to program planning and resource allocation decisions that guide service programs for the homeless.

In more general terms, the project seeks to increase understanding of the risks and benefits associated with efforts to integrate multiple disparate data sources into a newly integrated resource to support decision making and planning in the public sector. The project will explore mechanisms for mitigating the risks and realizing the benefits. It will make recommendations regarding the policy, management, and technology issues that must be addressed by any organization with similar goals and resources.

To achieve these goals, three parallel tracks of activity will be undertaken:

  1. Develop and evaluate a standard for evaluating homeless services.
  2. Develop and evaluate a set of standard definitions for services provided to the homeless population.
  3. Develop and evaluate a prototype Homeless Information Management System designed to provide state and local government managers and local shelter providers with information needed to more effectively evaluate, plan, and manage their programs.

Specifically, the following set of questions will be addressed in this project:


Related Web Sites

The Intergovernmental Solutions Program

http://www.albany.edu/igsp/
A partnership between the University at Albany's Rockefeller College of Public Affairs & Policy and New York State to develop a professional learning community focused on intergovernmental effectiveness. Program goals are to capture and share knowledge about how successful intergovernmental work occurs.

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services - Homelessness

http://aspe.hhs.gov/progsys/homeless/index.shtml

The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Data Council

http://aspe.os.dhhs.gov/datacncl/

International Homeless Discussion List Archives Home Page

http://csf.colorado.edu/psn/homeless/ [ Dead Link ]

National Coalition for Homeless

http://nch.ari.net/direct1.html [ Dead Link ]

The National Resource Center on Homelessness and Mental Illness

http://www.nrchmi.com/

American Public Human Services Association

http://www.aphsa.org

Housing Enterprises for the Less Privileged (H.E.L.P.)

http://www.helpusa.org/home.htm

Welfare Information Network

http://www.financeprojectinfo.org/WIN/homeless.asp
Contact Information
Center for Technology in Government
University at Albany, SUNY
187 Wolf Road, Suite 301
Albany, NY 12205
(518) 442-3892 (phone)
(518) 442-3886 (fax)