System Planning and Optimization Concepts (SPOC)


Focus Strategies developed the System Planning and Optimization Concepts (SPOC) to help communities visualize key system improvement strategies that may be prioritized to reduce homelessness locally. This is a sample modeling tool designed to help communities understand their current system and illustrate the potential impact of a few types of system changes, if they were to occur while holding everything else constant. These changes include: adding or expanding diversion or housing-problem solving; improving system project performance; and adding system inventory in the form of Emergency Shelter, Permanent Supportive Housing, and Rapid Rehousing.

SPOC is intended to be a thought-provoking way to consider the impact of possible system changes and improvements. It is not – and should not be used as – a system planning and analytics tool. Comprehensive analysis is needed to create data-driven planning on the local level. For communities that want to invest in that planning, we offer our System-Wide Analytics and Projection (SWAP) analysis.

Before using SPOC to test the impacts of systems change on your community data, please review the following documents to help you get started. These documents provide more information on SPOC’s purpose and context, the information you’ll need and instructions to use SPOC, as well as how to interpret your community’s results.

SPOC can be downloaded here (you will need a recent version of Microsoft Excel and Windows to use SPOC). Please note that SPOC is not compatible with the Mac operating system at this time.

If you have any questions about SPOC or are interested in using SWAP in your community, please email us at