Serving High-Need Populations and Reducing Homelessness

California has 12% of the nation’s population but more than one third of the nation’s homeless. Cities and counties urgently need solutions for preventing and addressing housing instability. The lack of affordable housing plays a significant role, but so do other factors like mental illness and substance abuse.

Many homeless individuals rely on multiple government services including emergency rooms, drug treatment, mental health clinics, the criminal justice system, and the shelter system, to name a few. These services are often not coordinated to best serve clients with complex needs. When localities integrate information about their high needs citizens, they often learn new ways they might improve those people’s lives and serve them more efficiently.

The California Policy Lab is working on a variety of projects with state and local agencies to develop and evaluate evidence-based homelessness prevention and intervention programs. CPL provides expertise in data integration, predictive analytics and targeting, and research design and program evaluation with the goal of bringing data and evidence into efforts to combat homelessness. We provide real-time insights on implementation and build empirical evidence for improved decision-making.

Example Projects

CPL is working with the City and the County of Los Angeles to analyze data to better understand the drivers of homelessness and who is most likely to need frequent, high cost services in the future. This research will help inform prevention strategies to keep people in their homes and improve outcomes for the most vulnerable people.

CPL is working with the ACCESS Sonoma County (Accessing Coordinated Care & Empowering Self-Sufficiency) initiative to help stabilize the well-being of Sonoma County’s highest-cost, highest-need population. We are helping the County integrate data across several departments, spot trends and patterns in utilization, and analyze interventions aimed at improving outcomes for the Sonoma’s most vulnerable few households.

The California Policy Lab is hosting a conference that will focus on strategies for better identifying and serving the high need, high cost population, highlighting initiatives being implemented across the country and the state. The conference will be held at UC Berkeley on November 7, 2017.

CONFERENCE PAGE: Breaking the Cycle: Improving Outcomes for California’s High Need, High Cost Population

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