What we did:
The need for a community resource directory became apparent early in the discovery process. When the iTeam wanted to know more about navigation and the service that were available to people experiencing homelessness we were pointed to different static lists or more often a system-savvy provider who had the most relevant information in their heads.
Without and accessible and valid resource directory people experiencing homelessness and the people who want to help them have a big information hurdle to overcome. The need for this project is also supported by the research insights:
To learn more about community resource lists we looked at a few similar projects around the county, developed personas based on the interviews of people experiencing homelessness and case managers, and prototyped a shared list with Google Sheets.
What we learned:
An accessible, validated resource directory would provide significant value to the end users, people experiencing homelessness, by making actionable service information available. It would also be very helpful for providers and members of the public who also want to provide reliable service information to people experiencing homelessness. Based on our research, the iTeam recommends that:
When an office of Homelessness Services is created they should make the creation of this resource a priority
Governance will be key to data quality. Providers and their front-line staff need to be engaged to figure out what incentives, processes, and agreements are necessary to ensure that the data is reliably maintained.
The reliable data should be be made available as an Open Data project so a variety of solutions can be developed to address the specific needs of some population segments.