Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $5,000,000)
The service planning area of North Orange County, which is made up of eleven cities, proactively draws on its partners and existing resources to work together in violence prevention and intervention. The North Orange County Public Safety Task Force—now known as the North Orange County Public Safety Collaborative (the “Collaborative”)—employs a structured, collaborative and highly leveraged approach which aligns and coordinates the efforts of local law enforcement across a contiguous, manageable geography while also enlisting and funding local community-based organizations (CBOs) and other community partners with experience and expertise in treating the underlying causes of complex challenges. Operating on a model of unified responsibility that is anchored by three pillars—centralizing resources, integrating data, and coordinating responses—the Collaborative seeks to sponsor the Homeless Outreach and Proactive Engagement Center (HOPE Center) to align the various scattered efforts in the area of homeless outreach & engagement and manage these efforts in one seamless response driven by a multitude of specialized responders.
As a subrecipient of the funding, the HOPE Center is sponsored by the North Orange County Public Safety Collaborative to take the next step in actualizing the coordination of 11 North Orange County cities, community-based organizations, behavioral health street practitioners, and community health workers by 1) centralizing their service provision so that they are dispatched out of one physical building—regardless of traditional jurisdictions—and 2) getting them all to adhere to one technological communication and data aggregation platform. That technological platform, Outreach Grid, will be utilized by the HOPE Center and its partners will be instrumental to the HOPE Center’s adoption of a concept known as the “Point of Work” data collection.
The “Point of Work” approach entails leveraging technology to eliminate latency—operations are conducted in real-time on a consolidated platform, and data is logged into the system at the exact moment it is collected. Applied to the field of homeless service provision, a system of addressing homelessness can be reduced to four phases (or points of work): outreach, shelter, housing navigation and case management, and permanent (supportive) housing. At each point of work, our technology and practices must enable the collection of data pertinent to the type of agency working with the client at the time of engagement, as well as support the communication of that data when they are linked to agencies in the next step in the process. The HOPE Center and Outreach Grid software will improve the capacity of the homeless services system to effectively plan, manage, and allocate resources so that responses are appropriate and expedient. That means that individuals experiencing homelessness will gain more reliable relief and consistent support—the right resource at the right time from first contact to permanent housing.