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City to Hire Company to Administer Homeless Database
By Jorge Casuso
May 9, 2019 -- The City is expected to hire a company that specializes in administering social service databases to maintain the system that tracks the progress of homeless clients in Santa Monica.
Staff is asking the City Council on Tuesday to authorize an $85,000 annual contract with Pathways MISI with four one-year renewal options for an amount not to exceed $425,000.
The Georgia-based company will administer and provide technical support for ServicePoint, the City's Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which is used by more than 250 licensed staff at City Hall and local non-profit agencies.
The standardized system, which is required of agencies receiving federal homeless funding, provides users with "a holistic view of an individual’s history, needs, accomplishments and challenges," staff said in its report.
The City's system collects demographic, social, financial, behavioral, health and housing history information about each individual and household served by participating social service programs, staff said.
Analyzing the data "offers a 'map' of a participant’s service history, and can be aggregated to identify emerging needs, gaps in services and effective programs."
Th information is used to "recommend policy changes and funding levels based on actual data of real program participants," staff said.
Until 2014, the City assigned a staff position to maintain the system, but found it was more effective to hire a consultant.
"(T)he scope of work and necessary expertise was not suited to the level of the budgeted position, which resulted in frequent turnover," staff said in its report.
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