HUD/HHS/VA Collaborative Initiative to Help End Chronic Homelessness: Is System Integration Associated with Client Outcomes?. Data Collection


Client data

Client data were collected by full-time VA employees serving as "evaluation assistants," one at each site. These evaluation assistants were responsible for recruiting participants, collecting screening/intake forms completed by case managers, and administering baseline assessment interviews at entry into the formal program evaluation, along with quarterly follow-up assessment interviews for up to 3 years. Follow-up interviews were administered regardless of clients' housing or treatment status i.e., evaluation assistants continued the administration of follow-up interviews to clients who remained engaged in treatment, as well as those who discontinued participation in either housing or case management services throughout the Initiative.

Data collection began at the start of program initiation at each site, from March - August 2004, and is intended to continue through September 2007. The data presented in this report were collected from the start of the project through mid-May, 2006, and represent 97% of all anticipated 3-month data, 93% of 6-month data, 88% of 9-month data, and 81% of all 12-month data to be collected. Thus we have limited 3-year data, but have nearly complete 1-year outcome data that have been collected and are available for presentation in this preliminary report.

Network data

After the initial "network definition" survey was completed at each of the 11 sites and the network sampling frame consisting of core agencies and key informants was defined, a second, more extensive "network participation survey" was then administered in three waves, between November 2003 to March 2006, to the key informants identified at each of the participating agencies. The first survey wave of data collection occurred before CICH began, between November 2003 and March 2004. The second and third waves of network data collection occurred at the end of the first and second years of program operation (i.e. from November 2004 to February 2005, and from January to March 2006).

Among these three annual network surveys, one was classified as the "current" survey for each client based upon the date that he/she was enrolled into the national evaluation. The specific method used for doing so is described in the "Methods  Merging of Client and Network Data" section of this report.

Network participation surveys were sent to all key informants prior to the interviews, which were conducted over the telephone by national evaluation staff at the Northeast Program Evaluation Center.

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