Stella and System Modeling

Stella is a set of tools available to Continuums of Care (CoCs) through the Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) 2.0.

Stella Performance (Stella P) is a data visualization of the Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) dataset to help communities understand how their homeless response system has been performing on critical performance measures.

Stella Modeling (Stella M) is an interactive tool to help communities conduct system modeling by calculating inventory and performance recommendations based on data inputs.

Stella P

Stella P uses dynamic visuals of CoCs’ LSA data to illustrate how households move through the homeless system and highlight outcome disparities. Stella P does the analytical heavy lifting, so your CoC can focus on planning and improving your housing crisis response system.

Stella looks at system-level performance for three critical performance measures:

  • Number of days homeless (Days Homeless)
  • Exits from the homeless system to permanent destinations (Exits)
  • Returns to the homeless system after exits to permanent destinations (Returns)

Stella also includes information to support communities analyzing performance trends, data quality, and equity in their homeless system response. The Stella P Quick Start Guide has everything you need to know to get started. Additional resources are listed below.

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New to Stella P or getting re-acquainted after some time apart? Start here to learn what Stella P is all about, how to access and prepare (Stellavise) your LSA data for Stella P, and which key performance measures are included.

Stella Performance Glossary

Glossary of terms used in the Stella P module.

Date Published: March 2022

Stella P Quick Start Guide

Quick guide providing a brief overview of how to access, navigate, and understand the key concepts of the Stella P module.

Date Updated: February 2021

Stella Performance Overview Videos

A series of seven short training videos which discuss each section of Stella, demonstrating the charts, tables, filters, and other functions available in Stella P.

Date Published: August 2020


Video Message from SNAPS Director Norm Suchar Introducing Stella

Video message from SNAPS Director Norm Suchar introducing Stella to communities.

Date Published: June 2019

Preparing LSA Files for Stella P

Instructions on preparing Longitudinal Systems Analysis (LSA) files for the Stella P module and accessing Stella P in the HDX 2.0.

Date Published: June 2019

Ready for a deeper dive? Explore the analysis potential of Stella P with these advanced resources on topics such as race and ethnicity analysis, data quality, performance insights, and the System Map.

NewStella P Race and Ethnicity Analysis Guide

A guide to the sections of Stella P that can be used as part of a race and ethnicity equity analysis of a homeless system.

Date Published: May 2022

Stella P Trends Data Guide and Video

A guide and overview video describing the performance trend data available in Stella Performance (Stella P). Stella P includes three-year trends for three key performance measures: Days Homeless, Exits, and Returns.

Date Published: November 2021


Stella P Resource Page: Data Universe

A video guide to understanding which households are included in each performance measure in Stella P as well as a PDF graphically displaying the six data universes used in Stella P.

Date Published: March 2021

Stella P Insights and Action Steps Guides

A set of guides describing the data quality and performance flags (“insights”) available in Stella P and how they can be used to develop Action Steps to improve system performance.

Date Published: June 2020

Understanding System Performance by Household Types Using Stella P

A presentation that demonstrates how to build a picture of system performance for the Adult & Child households using Stella P.

Date Published: December 2019

System Performance Map Guide and Instructional Video

Instructional guide and video to help CoCs understand how to use Stella P's System Performance Map tool to gain a greater understanding of a community's homeless system.

Date Published: July 2019

System Modeling with Stella M

System modeling is a structured, data-informed process to develop estimates of the size and needs of a population of people experiencing homelessness and assumptions about the types and amounts of assistance (housing, shelter, services) that would effectively and equitably meet those needs. The process begins with gathering a team of people with experience in homelessness and expertise in the homeless response system who create a data-informed model of an “ideal” system. The model is built with assumptions about the types and amounts of assistance that would effectively and equitably end homelessness. The results of system modeling show a community the investments and changes that are needed to implement the ideal system. The community can then use this model to guide its resource investment decisions.

View the Introducing System Modeling with Stella M webinar recording for an overview of the key steps in the system modeling process. The overview includes a case study of a community that used system modeling to create a roadmap to reducing family homelessness, guide investment decisions, and create a more effective homeless response system.

Stella M is an online analysis tool to support the system modeling process. Stella M uses the community’s data on homelessness, combinations of project types, and performance goals to calculate the inventory of housing, shelter, and services needed to fully meet the community’s needs. Using these estimates and assumptions, Stella M calculates the inventory that is needed to meet the services and housing needs of households experiencing homelessness in the community. See the Stella M Quick Start Guide to get started.

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System Modeling Toolkit

System Modeling Introduction: This introduction to system modeling provides an overview of the system modeling process and information to help a community decide whether system modeling is the right planning tool for them. It provides all the information needed to strategize and determine whether it is a good time to start a modeling process and to define the goals of the work.

Identifying and Engaging with Key Partners for System Modeling Guide: This guide is designed to provide the system modeling planning group with practical guidance on who else should be included in the system modeling process (key partner identification) and how to go about including them (outreach). This guide also addresses specific considerations for inclusion in system modeling of people with lived expertise.

Roles and Responsibilities Guide: This guide talks through the typical roles and their responsibilities in the system modeling process, and how decision making, and accountability should be incorporated into it. This guide also describes the facilitators’ role in the process and provides guidance on selecting a facilitator.

Supporting Resources

Facilitation Guide: This guide describes how to facilitate system modeling workgroup meetings that are inclusive, equitable, and impactful. This guide also includes a high-level summary of the system modeling process.

Supporting Resources

Data Guide: This guide addresses what kinds of data communities will need for the system modeling process, potential data sources, and methodologies.

Assumptions Guide: This guide to guide describes how to develop data-informed assumptions about the ideal homeless response system for the purposes of system modeling. These assumptions include descriptions of the project types needed in an ideal system and how many households will need each combination of project types.

Supporting Resources

Stella M User Guide: This guide provides detailed instructions on how to use Stella M to create models based on the assumptions and data analysis completed by the workgroup. The guide explains the calculations and results displayed in Stella M.

Supporting Resources
  • Stella M Quick Start Guide: A brief introduction to Stella M.
  • Stella M Demonstration Video: A recording of the joint CoC Lead and HMIS Lead and System Administrators call on January 18th, 2023 including a quick recap of system modeling followed by a Stella M demonstration.

Results and Implementation Guide (Coming Soon): This guide is intended to aid users in thinking about how to interpret, communicate, and use the system modeling results to develop an implementation plan.

Glossary: Glossary of key terms used in Stella M and the System Modeling Toolkit.