The Continuum of Care recently updated the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), ClientTrack. This update has opened up another examination around increased capacity and collaboration. Focusing on impact and outcomes, we must be meeting the needs of clients first and foremost. As a Continuum of Care and a community, how can we improve the goal of focusing on clients' needs first? The answer is - even more collaboration.
The Continuum of Care is doing a great job of coordinating care, partnering with each other, and moving as many people as possible to permanent housing. We can do better by engaging and collaborating with organizations, businesses, and community sectors that are not traditionally involved with solving homelessness. Some examples are healthcare providers, churches, schools, government, and more property owners.
While some of these organizations have not partnered with our CoC directly, we are all affected and manage homelessness daily, whether we are aware of it or not. "Homelessness is costly to society because people experiencing homelessness frequently require the most expensive publicly-funded services and institutions. Homelessness is also costly in terms of its negative impact on human life, health, and productivity," Opening Doors, USICH.
The overarching goal of collaborating and partnership is the transition to prevention. This objective is attainable and sustainable, but only if we all participate. The CoC is ready, are you?