SNAPS Data Strategy & Usability

HUD and our Federal partners are committed to assisting communities to end homelessness for individuals and families. Collecting complete and accurate data about homelessness in your communities is a core element to achieve the goal.

The SNAPS Strategy sets out three overarching goals for itself and communities:

  1. Communities use their data to optimize systems of care through making ongoing system performance improvements and determining optimal resource allocation;

  2. Communities operate data systems that allow for accurate, comprehensive, and timely data collection, usage and reporting; and

  3. Federal government coordinates to receive and use data to make informed decisions in coordination with other data sets, across and within agencies.

To end homelessness, communities must be able to analyze data at both the system and project levels and to evaluate their efforts by subpopulation, across project types, and in other ways. Not only must communities continue increasing HMIS bed coverage and improving data quality, they also should be using data to gain a more holistic picture of the communities’ progress toward ending homelessness. To assist with this effort, HUD has produced a number of products and tools to assist communities to improve data quality and engage in system and project-level analysis.

CoC Analysis Tool: Race and Ethnicity

Each community has unique circumstances impacting homeless populations. The CoC Analysis Tool draws on PIT Count and American Community Survey data to facilitate analysis of racial disparities among people experiencing homelessness. Such an analysis is a critical first step in identifying and changing racial and ethnic bias in our systems and services.

Date Published: March 2022

CoC Performance Analysis and Improvement Toolkit

This toolkit provides a framework for communities to design, implement, and evaluate strategies to create more effective and equitable systems of care and build a stronger performance culture.

Date Published: May 2021

Homelessness and Health Data Sharing Toolkit

This toolkit covers why and how communities are sharing data to improve outcomes for people experiencing homelessness.

Date Published: September 2020

Project Rating and Ranking Tool

The CoC Program is an essential resource in helping HUD meet the national goals of preventing and ending homelessness in the United States. CoCs should use objective, performance based scoring criteria and selection priorities that are approved by the CoC to determine the extent to which each project addresses HUD’s policy priorities. CoCs should reallocate funds to new projects whenever reallocation would improve outcomes and reduce homelessness, and consider how much each project spends to serve and house an individual or family as compared to other projects serving similar populations. This optional tool can be used by CoCs to evaluate projects and set ranking priorities within the CoC.

Date Published: August 2021

Using ArcGIS to Reduce Homelessness

This resource highlights how people can use HUD’s GIS Toolkit to analyze Continuum of Care (CoC) boundaries and information about people living in those boundaries. Additionally, this resource highlights tools that Esri has developed to help communities end homelessness.

Date Published: October 2018

Using ArcGIS to Address Homelessness Webinar

This training helps communities better understand what ArcGIS tools may be available to them to address homelessness and how to identify who in their community already has access to these resources.

Webinar Date: October 22, 2018

SNAPS Data TA Strategy to Improve Data and Performance

This document lays out a vision for optimal data systems and data usage. The release of this strategy is part of several efforts that all federal partners have underway to obtain an even more accurate picture of the scale and scope of homelessness in our nation.

Date Published: September 2018

CoC Data Quality Brief

High quality data is essential to understanding the health of a community's homeless assistance system and knowing where performance improvements are needed. This brief provides HUD’s vision for data quality, introduces tools HUD has developed to support data quality improvement, and recommends a process for implementing a data quality management program.

Date Published: May 2017

System Performance Improvement Briefs

HUD developed seven System Performance Measures to help communities gauge their progress toward the goal of ending homelessness. Each CoC is expected to use these measures to evaluate how well homeless systems are functioning and where improvements are necessary. These two System Performance Improvement briefs highlight different aspects to help CoCs better understand and improve their homeless system.

Date Published: July 2017

Data Strategy Announcement

This message from SNAPS provides grantees, stakeholders, and partners with information about the increasing importance of data and new resources to aid in better data quality and analysis.

Date Published: May 2017

Related Pages

Stella Strategy and Analysis Tool

LSA: Longitudinal Systems Analysis

Featured Resource

HMIS Case Study: Using Data Visualization to Foster a Data-Driven Culture - Snohomish County Human Services

Snohomish Data Dashboards

Snohomish County Human Services Department (HSD), the CoC for Snohomish County, has created data visualizations, including public-facing data dashboards, as part of a bigger plan to create a performance culture and transform their homeless system.