Better Data Collection


While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) currently administers the annual point-in-time count of people experiencing homelessness and a homelessness services inventory, the collection process at the community level could be made more efficient. Using technology like Fulcrum or What3Words could allow for the geolocation of data points, while coordinating one cohesive database across multiple jurisdictions (or even counties and states) could allow for a streamlined delivery of services to those experiencing homelessness regardless of where they travel. The most difficult aspect of implementing better data collection is the prior foresight and planning required; the data tools themselves are generally lightweight and simple to implement. Here are a few ideas to improve data collection in simple ways:

  • Use Fulcrum or a similar service to create a custom survey that matches the data requirements of HUD’s annual count, and equip the volunteer teams with iPads pre-populated that include this app as they go collect data
  • Host an event for people experiencing homelessness with incentives for them to stop by and have their information recorded through this app
While the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) currently administers the annual point-in-time count of the homeless and a homeless services inventory, the collection process at the community level could be made more efficient. Using technology like Fulcrum or What3Words could allow for the geolocation of data points, while coordinating one cohesive database across multiple jurisdictions (or even counties and states) could allow for a streamlined delivery of services to the homeless regardless of where they travel. The most difficult aspect of implementing better data collection is the prior foresight and planning required; the data tools themselves are generally lightweight and simple to implement. Here are a few ideas to improve data collection in simple ways:

  • Use Fulcrum or a similar service to create a custom survey that matches the data requirements of HUD’s annual count, and equip the volunteer teams with iPads pre-populated that include this app as they go collect data
  • Host an event for the homeless with incentives for them to stop by and have their information recorded through this app