It is important to quickly identify and engage individuals and families that fall into homelessness to ensure that experience is brief. Communities can use coordinated, housing-focused outreach to people who are unsheltered, in-reach to people in institutional settings, and data from multiple systems, to identify and engage individuals and families experiencing homelessness. These resources can help:
Identify every individual and family experiencing homelessness
- Lessons Learned from SAMHSA’s Expert Panel on the Role of Outreach and Engagement details lessons learned from a 2015 panel, hosted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
- Strengthening Systems for Ending Rural Homelessness: Promising Practices and Considerations explores the unique challenges of building effective rural homelessness response systems and provides an initial set of strategies communities can use to take advantage of their unique strengths.
- Promising Practices for Counting Youth Experiencing Homelessness in the Point-in-Time Counts highlights several strategies and efforts communities have implemented to better count youth experiencing homelessness.
Collect information from hospitals, jails, schools, the child welfare system, hotlines and 2-1-1, and other community-based programs
- Interagency Data Disclosure: A Tip Sheet on Interagency Collaboration was developed by ED to help state and local education agency homeless education programs and housing and human service agencies better coordinate services.
- Enhancing Family Stability: A Guide for Assessing Housing Status and Coordinating with Local Homelessness Programs for TANF Agencies was developed by HHS for TANF agencies.
- Homelessness Screening Clinical Reminder tool was developed by the VA for use with Veterans accessing health care services.
- Sample Housing and Homelessness Status Assessment Questions provides a summary of Housing Assessment questions.
- Crosswalk of Key Federally Funded Child and Youth Homelessness Contacts makes it easier for stakeholders that serve children and youth experiencing homelessness that receive federal funding to know how to contact each other.
- Q&A: How Connecticut Matched Its Medicaid and Homelessness Data to Improve Health through Housing discusses the success and challenges of HMIS-Medicaid data sharing.
Build and maintain active lists of people experiencing homelessness and track progress toward housing placement
- Master List Template and Benchmark Generation Tool provides communities with templates to help develop or improve their “by-name” list in order to meet the Criteria and Benchmarks for Achieving the Goal of Ending Veteran Homelessness.
- Reducing Homelessness in Real Time: A Measure That Matters describes data tools used by Built for Zero communities to end Veteran and chronic homelessness.