The key to reducing New York City’s homeless population could be data collection.
A comprehensive system called StreetSmart will house information collected by some 400 outreach workers who daily talk with the city’s homeless. That information will then be gathered into a central hub, where multiple agencies will be able to access it and get a better picture of an individual’s income, demographics and history in the shelter system. Up until this point, different nonprofits and government agencies were unable to share information and provide more focused treatment plans.
StreetSmart could also provide a broad picture of shelter use and pinpoint reasons why some people avoid the shelters.