Saturday, August 26, 2017

VA Data on Homeless Veterans Shows, All of Us Make a Difference

Leveraging data to provide insight into complex issues surrounding Veteran homelessness

VAntage Point
Department of Veterans Affairs
August 23, 2017

It’s not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” — W. Edwards Deming

Deming, a well-respected statistician, reminds us that identifying the what is critical in determining how to be successful. Deming is widely known for helping to develop the sampling techniques still used by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
VA has taken a similar approach in working toward its priority goal to end Veteran homelessness, gathering and reviewing data on homelessness that then inform strategies to address it. As a result, the nation saw a nearly 50 percent reduction in the number of homeless Veterans between 2010 and 2016.
For the last four years, VA and partners at the state and community levels have been using a data-driven management platform to determine and update the number of Veterans who are homeless and track those Veterans by name so that they can be served most efficiently and effectively. The platform houses data from multiple sources, including but not limited to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Point-in-Time count and the VA Homeless Registry.
This data-driven approach to ending Veteran homelessness helps all of us — national organizations like VA, community groups, and individuals in every corner of the U.S. — ensure that we’re doing our best to give every Veteran a safe, stable place to call home and the resources they need to stay there.
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