Slide Show The Way Community-based tools to guide people from homeless to housed. Show The Way The app for street outreach Slide Show The Way Community-based tools to guide people from homeless to housed. Show The Way The app for better data collection Slide Show The Way Community-based tools to guide people from homeless to housed. Show The Way The app for self-help tools

The Challenge and Our Approach

Finding an approach that works

Human-centered design, fueled by conversations with people with lived experience, tell us that people already know what they need/want. Compared to brick and mortar shelter and housing providers, Street Outreach teams are often beginning work with a client in a very different space. Immediate, basic needs are often given closer attention than considerations about homeless history or prioritization scores. A solution is needed that is tailored to Outreach-specific workflows and service delivery.

Coordinating teams and resources

Within a single Continuum of Care (CoC) or community, Street Outreach teams often have different funders, coverage areas, services they provide, and operating hours.  

  • How do we make sure we aren’t sending multiple teams to the same area for outreach? 
  • How can we coordinate efforts across homeless service agencies, local governments, the faith community, and private individuals? 

First responders need to know who to contact, for example, to divert sending a person to jail or the ER, but may have difficulty discovering: 

  • Which team is covering my area tonight? 
  • Who has compression socks for people with diabetes? 
  • Can I send a referral to this specific service provider? 
  • Are there any available beds nearby for the 18-year-old I’m working with? 

Reducing the number of homeless individuals

While supporting people’s immediate needs, Street Outreach contacts are vital for documenting homeless history—which goes a long way towards establishing chronicity and, oftentimes, eligibility for prioritized housing placements. Homeless history is often not as well-documented for persons experiencing homelessness on the streets, compared to persons who engage the sheltered system.  

  • How can we quantify these Street Outreach interactions to document their homeless status and history 
  • How can we reduce the number of people experiencing unsheltered homelessness? 

How Show The Way helps

Provide coordinated care with the aid of features including:

  • Real-time data capture of geospatial survey data (who, what, when, and where) 
  • Custom surveys to assess encampment status, identify needs, and track services 
  • Street Outreach Team management: 
    • Assign teams to specific regions and areas 
    • Log observations about people that cannot be engaged 
    • Track locations of encampments, pictures, and notes
  • Person-specific surveys to collect information on contacts and engagement 
    • Recorded in real-time and will be
    • Able to be used to support a person’s chronic homeless status
  • ID card scanning to support rapid intake on the streets or in shelter 
  • Optional ability to integrate facial recognition tech to quickly identify a person 
  • Review details of past interactions by any member of the navigation team 
  • Follow ups and alerts inform the navigator of any actions that need to be taken