In most communities, homelessness is experienced disproportionately — most commonly, people of color and people who are LGBTQ experience higher rates of homelessness in comparison to people who are white, cisgender, and heterosexual. Understanding who is experiencing homelessness within one’s community, as well as any disparities in outcomes by population within the homelessness response system, is a critical starting point from which to take action to promote equity.
Focus Strategies provides a range of services designed to help communities:
- understand the characteristics and experiences of people at risk of and experiencing homelessness in the region;
- assess current program and system performance and any outcome disparities by population or region;
- identify aspects of the system that may be perpetuating bias or disparity, whether via program design delivery, assessment tools, or system processes; and,
- implement solutions that reduce disparate experiences of homelessness and increase equitable outcomes.
These services include quantitative and qualitative analyses, purposeful engagement in system assessments and planning by people from communities most impacted by homelessness, and adoption of an intersectional, equity-focused lens in all aspects of project implementation.
Equity analyses can be applied to all components of the homelessness response system — from prevention and problem-solving strategies to Coordinated Entry and permanent housing resource interventions — and Focus Strategies is equipped to support communities in understanding local data and crafting responses that will advance equity.
Through this work, we encourage communities to center meaningful input from and collaboration with people with lived experience in evaluation and system design efforts.