The key to ending homelessness is moving people from the streets into permanent housing. The WSFC CoC is committed to working with our clients to find housing that will meet their households needs wherever they would like to live withing the community. Visualizing the distribution of where clients our service providers have assisted find permanent housing is important to understanding if where clients are moving to when they leave homelessness.
How Data Leads to Success…
The WSFC CoC is committed to using data as a spotlight to highlight how our system of both caring for people who are homeless and ending homelessness are working. The goal is to both highlight success and illuminate areas for improvement. Data describing our system is an important tool for ending homelessness. It tells us if we are on track to meet our goal. But the data is only part of the story. Each person represented in these charts is one of our neighbors. They have a story of which homelessness is only a part. Our goal is the keep the chapter on homelessness in their life as short as possible.
As part of our commitment to ending chronic homelessness we track how many people in our community are chronically homeless. Over the last year, we have made significant progress in reducing the number of people experiencing homelessness. Over the last 7 months we have had less people on our list who are chronically homeless then the median number of chronically homeless people, indicating that we are achieving real change.
To end chronic homelessness, we need to understand more then how many folks are chronically homeless. Understanding how many people are aging into chronic status or are newly identified and how many folks we are able to place a month is critical. This is our inflow and outflow. As you can see from the chart for over a 18 months our inflow and outflow have been relatively close, and hover at about 3-4 newly identified and/or newly housed. In October 2018 we brought the number of chronically homeless folks down below our improvement median and have remained there ever since, hovering at about 13 chronically homeless people. The challenge for the CoC now is how do we bring this number down even lower.
The point in time count is just a snapshot of our community’s homeless population. For a more complete perspective, our community compiles an Annual Homeless Assessment Review (AHAR) which is uses data collected year-round. Comparing our Point in Time count to our annual count shows that while on any given night we have about 500 people experiencing homelessness in our community, since 2012 we have seen a significant decrease in the number of people experiencing homelessness on an annual basis.