The Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) is guided by the goal of preventing and ending homelessness and knowing what works best to reach that goal. With high levels of need and limited resources, this means focusing on the most effective and efficient strategies. We can only do this by becoming data-informed leaders, using data as the basis for resource and policy decisions.
Stella is a strategy and analysis tool that helps Continuums of Care (CoCs) understand how their system is performing and models what an optimized system would look like that fully addresses homelessness in their area.
Available to all CoCs through the Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) 2.0, Stella has two modules:
- Stella Performance (Stella P): provides dynamic visuals of CoCs’ Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) data to show how households move through the homeless system, and to highlight outcome disparities. It looks at your system’s past performance to see where you can make future improvements. Stella P does the analytical heavy lifting, so your CoC can focus on strategies to improve your homelessness system.
- Stella Modeling (Stella M): assists CoCs in exploring how resource investment decisions amplify system capacity to end homelessness. It is a way of looking forward at different potential models for how your system could operate and perform. Stella M starts with homeless needs and performance goals, and helps the community transform those needs into a series of resource investment decisions. Stella M is still in production, but Stella P is available now.
Stella P provides visualizations of your CoC’s LSA data on three performance measures: 1) length of time people remain homeless, 2) exits to permanent destinations, and 3) returns to homelessness.
Through a series of dashboards, Stella P illustrates connections and relationships between the performance measures. CoCs can filter performance to targeted household types (e.g. veterans, youth, and others), as well as to population groups with certain demographic or system utilization characteristics (e.g. by race, family size, first-time homeless status, and others).
Stella P relies on “service pathways”, or the combination of project types that households use as they move through the homeless system. This shows the complex and interconnected ways that people utilize the system, and which pathways are most effective in making homelessness rare, brief, and one-time.
CoCs using Stella P will benefit from:
- An opportunity to filter data by household type to understand how your system is working for different groups of people
- Flags to prompt further analysis of factors that influence performance
- Presentation-ready graphics to help you focus on community conversations rather than creating charts
To get the most out of Stella P additional resources are available to help understand how Stella works; provide tips on what data to use; and show how to identify and target areas that are affecting your performance. Together, we can use this innovative tool to improve system performance and positively impact the lives of the individuals and families experiencing homelessness.
Thank you for all the hard work that you do to end homelessness in your community every day.
Norm Suchar and the Stella Development Team
Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs
View SNAPS In Focus messages
Download this SNAPS In Focus: Stella – A New Way to See How Your CoC is Performing