Today we want to focus on bringing your attention to a great new resource for the public in Utah. The Homelessness Data Dashboard is a great new site where everyone can get information about how well we are doing as a state to address homelessness.
We as the Pioneer Park Coalition hope this will lead to more transparency and data-driven decisions.
The public can access the new Homelessness Data Dashboard by clicking on the link above, which will take you directly to the Utah.gov Department of Workforce Services page.
Here, users will find an easy-to-use console where one can choose different parameters to search for, such as:
homeless services provider
As each new parameter is chosen, the report on the dashboard will update, displaying information such as:
The number of people accessing services
Year to Year trends
The number of people exiting the system
Percentile comparisons to the previous period
Overall people in the homelessness database
As an example, when I accessed the dashboard today, I selected the dates of January 1st, 2017-December 10th, 2017.
Under subpopulation, I selected “Salt Lake” for the COC, “All” for Veteran Status, “All” for Age Group, “Persons in Families” for Household Type.
Under Project & Provider, I selected “All” for Project Type and “The Road Home” for Provider.
Essentially, I wanted to take a snapshot of people in families experiencing homelessness anytime during 2017 who utilized The Road Home.
Here is what the dashboard looks like with those parameters:
I liked the way everything was very clear and concise. When I hover over different parts of the report, more information about what exactly I am seeing pops up.
From this report, I can deduce that 3,852 people in my subgroups accessed services from The Road Home in 2017, which is down 1% from the previous period (in my case, January-December 2016). I can also see that 1,928 people in my subgroup exited the system through The Road Home. This is down 34% over the previous period (or year, in our example).
I can quickly deduce from this that about the same number of people in my subgroup accessed services in 2017 as in 2016. However, far less people exited the system then they did in the previous year. I can also see that the majority of those exiting the system ended up in the “other” category…which basically means “we don’t know.” However, 32% ended up in permanent housing, which is always the goal.
We encourage the public to use this tool and hope that as transparency increases, accountability and interest will as well. We would love to hear any of your thoughts on this new system. Feel free to send your comments to us here.