Theme 5: Leveraging DATA and TECHNOLOGY to drive Policy and Practice
There is growing recognition of the value of data and technology in addressing complex problems, including in our responses to homelessness.
While many communities now use Homelessness Management Information Systems (HMIS) to coordinate services, track clients, and measure the impact of service delivery models and community strategies, these practices are not consistent across the country. Further, many service providers collect limited data, while federal, provincial and territorial government data collection is only minimally analyzed.
An increasing amount of data on homeless individuals, including homeless youth, is available across Canada This includes not only working with data gathered from the homelessness sector (Point-in-Time Counts, HIFIS, etc.) but also other forms of administrative data. Deriving maximum value from large data sets requires a cross-cutting approach that considers how to prevent youth homelessness and sustain their exits from homelessness. MtS will advance this work, linking data (where possible) from homeless information systems and administrative systems (e.g., in health and other social services).
MtS intends to design and implement a vision for a national youth homelessness data strategy to support communities and governments. The goal is to utilize data to generate new and useful knowledge impacting policy and practice, and driving the creation of innovative tools and resources that support communities.