Every regional network is struggling with the challenges of creating data collection procedures that capture the needed information for multiple funding sources such as ICHH, HPRP, and other state and federal funding streams. The City of Boston is in the process of creating an innovative and inclusive data tracking system for their ICHH and HPRP programs. The City uses Social Solutions’ “Effort to Outcomes” (ETO) software to track social impact of its programs. The City’s data team, led by Jennifer Flynn, has not only revamped their ETO/ Social Solutions system to collect the new HPRP required intake and exit fields but also created a new assessment in Social Solutions to capture all other data collected by providers within the regional network. This new assessment-known as City of Boston State of Massachusetts Additional Assessment-is designed to capture the data required by the Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness as well as the self-sufficiency matrix. The new data system will also have the ability to capture the information required by the Massachusetts Housing and Shelter Alliance’s Home and Healthy for Good Program. In order to streamline the intake and data entry process the City has reformatted all paper tools to precisely match the fields and order of the ETO system which should reduce the burden on staff conducting the intakes and entering the data.
The most exciting aspect of this system is that for providers working on the chronic homeless initiative they will have open access to the system and be able to view data entered by other providers within the initiative. It is the City’s hope that this open system model will eventually occur within all programs. For more information on the City of Boston’s data collection system and technical details contact Jennifer Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org