We have hundreds of people coming in and out of our mass shelter every night. We don’t have time to ask them where they’re going; they just disappear.

Date Published: November 2015

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For mass shelters that track bed nights using the “night by night” method, there may be high rates of missing destination data when the client is exited. Often, in this model, a client is exited after a period of time of not coming into the shelter, at which point the opportunity to ask clients where they are going is lost.

HUD understands that there are different models of shelters implemented throughout the country. However, we want to emphasize that we strongly encourage shelters – even large scale shelters – to consider themselves to be a part of the community’s system working to end homelessness. As such, any steps a project can take to establish relationships with clients, focus on moving clients into more permanent housing situations, or collaborate with service projects that do so will only improve your system’s functioning and client outcomes.

Tags: Data - Data Standards