This past weekend (August 12-14), Bitfocus attended a DataDive event organized by DataKind San Francisco-Bay Area (DataKind SF). This event brings volunteers and data scientists together to learn from and improve various data projects from mission-driven organizations—including the work Bitfocus is doing through our partnership with Santa Clara County.
Bitfocus team member Jason Satterfield (Director of Policy and Evaluation) and Santa Clara County’s Hilary Barroga (Project Lead / CoC Quality Improvement Manager) presented at the DataDive event. Jason and Hilary shared what Santa Clara County has done to reduce homelessness in their community, presenting 7 years of homelessness data.
To accomplish their mission of making homelessness rare, brief, and nonrecurring, Santa Clara must ask:
- How do we predict housing demand?
- How do we determine what resources are necessary based on likely homeless scenarios in coming years?
Going into this past weekend, their approach was to:
- Look deeper into historical inflow, by Santa Clara County key subpopulations.
- Estimate unmet demand by equating Emergency Shelter use to ‘wait times’.
- Identify trends in unmet demand by key subpopulations.
- Make predictions where possible.
Jason and Hilary joined other data scientists at the event in investigating Santa Clara’s program, suggesting technical improvements Santa Clara can make to further understand what the program has accomplished thus far and how the program can achieve better outcomes to impact the lives of the people they help.
We learned a lot from this event, and are encouraged by the incredible work other organizations are doing to use data science for good!
You can download the full PowerPoint presentation here, including Santa Clara’s data analysis, trends, and opportunities available.