Mutual Progress on Homelessness through Advancing and
Strengthening Information Systems
Helsinki, February 27th 2009
Bill Edgar (University of Dundee UK)
Volker Busch-Geertsema (GISS, Germany)
Purpose of Mphasis
Measuring Homelessness Report
National Authorities in data collection on
Mutual Learning / Practice Strand
PROGRESS - Social Inclusion Strategy
Mobilising all actors
Concrete Outputs and Outcomes
Agreed outcome statement on actions required
to improve data collection on homelessness
Purpose of Data Collection
Strategy Aims to Data needed for
Prevent homelessness People vulnerable to eviction
People who leave an institution with
Tackle the causes of Data reflecting different pathways
Reduce the level of Scale and prevalence of
Reduce the negative effects Longitudinal analysis / repeat
on homeless people homelessness
Ensure that formerly Number who gain access to
homeless people can sustain permanent or supported
permanent independent accommodation and remain there
Homeless Pathways and Data
CAUSES FACTORS TRIGGERS DATA SOURCES
INSTITUTIONAL Institutional Living
Foster / State Care
Discharge Penal System
RELATIONSHIP Abusive relationship Social Welfare
Leaving family home
Fleeing violent relationship
(with a partner) Surveys
Coping with living alone
(death or separation)
PERSONAL Mental Illness Illness episode Health Services
Support breakdown Service
Alcohol Dependency Substance Misuse
Data Collection Overview
Homeless persons surveys France, Spain, Italy
Service Providers / Client Netherlands, Ireland
Official Registers of Czech, Hungary, Latvia
Social Welfare / Services
Housing Allocation UK
Needs Assessment Finland, Ireland, Scotland
Typology of Living Situations
Types of housing
Housing Units Collective Other
Living Quarters Living Situations
Non- Non- Public Spaces
Conventional conventional Institutional institutional external spaces
dwelling dwelling Building Building
Operational Category Living Situation
1 People Living Rough 1 Public space / external space
2 People in emergency 2 Overnight Shelters
3 People living in 3 Homeless Hostels
accommodation for the 4 Temporary Accommodation
homeless 5 Transitional Supported
Women’s shelter or refuge
4 People living in institutions 7 Health care institutions
8 Penal institutions
5 People living in non- 9 Mobile homes
conventional dwellings due 10 Non-conventional building
to lack of housing 11 Temporary structure
6 People living temporarily 12 Conventional housing, but not the
with family and friends person’s usual place of residence
Driven by Strategy
Definition of homelessness and housing
Review of information sources
Service Provider Database
Core Variables Definition
Client Register information
Administrative Data / Survey Data
Threatened with eviction
Children leaving care
Number of people receiving services
Time spent in the system
Flow of people through the system
People re-housed (with/without support)
Supply and User Statistics
Directory of Services
Prevalence occupancy rate
Profile and Trends
Test usability of Core Variables in all MPHASIS
Demographic characteristic (age and gender),
Nationality and migration background (country of
Composition of homeless households,
Accommodation situation (immediately before
service period and at time of data collection),
Duration of (current) homelessness,
Reasons for (last) homelessness.
Common understanding? Data available?
Harmonisation possible? Amendments
Obstacles for implementation of missing
variables and possible solutions European Commission
Is there any such strategy?
What are the data needs of strategy / policies?
Are there any plans for regular monitoring?
How can an operational definition of homelessness be
developed and used?
National/regional databases of services set up?
Client register systems installed and used for
providing more continuous information?
What gaps exist / Reliability of data?
Is definition of core variables agreed by actors?
How can data protection issues be addressed?
Is funding adequate / sustainable?
How can barriers be overcome?
Is responsibility / governance clear?
Is there a mechanism for review?
What is the action plan for implementation?
Agreement of outcome statement and action to
progress data collection
Sharing progress and information from national
meetings and MPHASIS website
Report back to final MPHASIS conference in