The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires local communities to report on how communities are addressing homelessness. Ramsey County's Heading Home Ramsey, annually reports performance measures to the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and works with homelessness service providers to improve their performance.
People accessing housing programs
The first three measures HUD uses to assess local homelessness look at the number of people accessing different housing programs over a federal fiscal year. These metrics measure progress toward eliminating homelessness by counting the number of people accessing services.
A decrease may indicate that fewer people need services because homelessness is decreasing. However, a decrease may also indicate barriers to services. An increase may indicate that more people are accessing services, and that we are doing better at meeting people's needs.
Length of time people are homeless
The first two measures show the length of time people reside in emergency shelters and transitional housing programs. These measures do not include time people spend living homeless on their own outside housing programs. The third measure is time spent in programs and self-reported days homeless. The median number of days people live homeless is increasing, which reflects the difficulty finding affordable housing in the current rental market.
Having income is often essential in keeping a stable place to live. Many Heading Home Ramsey programs work to increase both earned income, like from a job, and non-employment income, like disability benefits or cash assistance. These next measures show adults exiting programs in the continuum and whether they had more income than when they started the program.
Finding and maintaining housing
The ultimate goal of Heading Home Ramsey is to end homelessness in Ramsey County. Programs and services should result in people having a safe and stable place to live. The first two measures below show people exiting Street Outreach, a program that serves people living in skyways, parks, or camps, into different types of housing. The third measure looks at people exiting temporary housing programs, like emergency shelter or transitional housing, into permanent housing. The final measure shows how many people exit into permanent housing who then return to homelessness.