Core Performance Indicators for Homeless-Serving Programs Administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Application of Suggested Core Performance Measures to DHHS Mainstream Programs Serving Homeless Individuals

09/01/2003

While the main focus of this study is on examining the extent to which the four selected homeless-serving programs could potentially enhance performance measurement through adoption of a core set of performance measures, this study is also intended to assess the potential applicability of the suggested core measures to mainstream DHHS programs that serve both homeless and non-homeless populations. Of critical interest is assessing the capability and willingness of mainstream DHHS programs to (1) collect basic data relating to the number and types of homeless individual served, and (2) move beyond counts of homeless individuals served to adopting some or all the core performance measures suggested in Chapter 4.

With input from the DHHS Project Officer, we selected four DHHS mainstream programs for analysis: (1) the Health Centers Cluster (administered by Health Resources and Services Administration [HRSA]), (2) the Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment (SAPT) Block Grant (administered by Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration [SAMHSA]), (3) Head Start (administered by Administration for Children and Families [ACF]), and (4) Medicaid (administered by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services [CMS]). While these programs are not targeted specifically on homeless individuals, some homeless individuals are eligible for services provided under each program by virtue of low income, a disability, or other characteristics. In fact, each of these mainstream programs serves some homeless individuals, though homeless individuals constitute a relatively small share of total individuals served within each program. We conducted telephone interviews with officials at each of the agencies administering these programs to collect information about each of the programs, as well as views on collecting additional data on services to homeless individuals. In addition, we reviewed information about the data systems supporting collection of performance data and reporting requirements (including GPRA performance measures) for each program.

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