The data used in this report was built upon The Vermont Balance of State Continuum of Care Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and Annual Point in Time (PIT) Surveys. The Nelson A. Rockefelle r Center at Dartmouth College Center, a catalyst for public policy research has engaged with the Data Quality Management Council to develop this first Vermont Homeless report of it’s kind. Collectively, Policy Research Shop students completed more than 300 hours of research and design work on this project.
The data represents the data collection of over 21,000 records of over 40 Vermont agencies that provide Shelter, Housing and Supportive Services to the most vulnerable in the state. This initial effort has been made to develop a basis for an unduplicated count, and to better understand the demographics of homelessness in Vermont. In time the expectation is to measure the patterns of homeless use; the effectiveness of services and to support improved collaboration among community partners serving homeless persons.
Projections from HMIS data for the total number of homeless are tentative by nature. The implementation is more mature in comparison to some communities outside the state of Vermont, however data quality continues to be a challenge for the Continuums of Care. In 2010 the Balance of State Continuum of Care developed and adopted a data quality management plan. This is demonstrating an increased focus on and maintenance of data quality. Results are promising.