Video: How the City of Santa Rosa Uses Open Data to Target Homeless Services

In August 2016, the City of Santa Rosa, CA, declared a homeless emergency. Faced with a homelessness rate higher than nearby San Francisco and three times the national average, the city has had to rethink its homeless strategy.

Using Citizen Connect from Socrata, city leaders are now able to map the populations of homeless residents, and better coordinate services where they are needed.

Speaking from a Place of Data

Eric McHenry, CIO at City of Santa Rosa, shares a view of the program-specific data that has helped his administration communicate the need to allocate resources more efficiently. As the demonstration in this video shows, the live data dashboard is easy to use, the information easy to interpret.

“When we shared this with city and county management and some of our development partners, they were really impressed,” McHenry says. “They had a gut feel for where the problems were, but they didn’t really have a sense of what the level was.” For example, one area had a lot of calls for service, but not a large homeless population, while another area with a significant homeless count was not generating as many service calls, he says.

Armed with the live data during discussions with executive staff helped the administration, “speak from a place of data,” McHenry says.

Hear more from McHenry as well as Clare Hegg, Product Marketing Manager at Socrata, as they dive into how the City of Santa Rosa is using data to better allocate resources and target homeless services. Go here to watch the entire webinar.