Field Notes: Allocating Resources

written by Norm Suchar
August 1, 2012

At our recent annual conference, we held a workshop on the topic of allocating resources. One of the presentations in that session included some data and suggestions that are worth sharing again, particularly as we turn to the new HEARTH CoC regulations and the next NOFA.

You can see the slides here from the presentation by Katharine Gale, one of our close partners who has assembled a lot of the data that’s been collected about cost-effectiveness and outcomes.

Pay special attention to slides 4, 5, 7, and 14, which present the aggregated data from numerous communities.

I’ve had a chance to look at a lot of data from different communities very closely. One thing that stands out is that there tends to be a lot of variation between the average cost and outcomes of different programs within communities, far more than the variation between different communities.

In other words, the difference in average cost and outcomes, for instance, between an urban area with a high cost of living, and a rural area with a lower cost of living, isn’t that dramatic. However, the difference in cost and outcomes between two programs in a particular community can be very large.

This presentation does a nice job of summarizing that data and also identifying some of the key questions that community leaders and homeless assistance providers should be asking themselves as they implement the new CoC regulations and make their homeless assistance more efficient and effective.