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Investigating Racial Disparities in the Homeless System and Considering Implications for Policy

Investigating Racial Disparities in the Homeless System and Considering Implications for Policy

September 23, 2018 2018 Fall Conference

Investigating Racial Disparities in the Homeless System and Considering Implications for Policy

We will address steps communities can consider when assessing whether and where racial disparities appear in their system, and if they do, implications for system level policy development. As we illustrate the different ways to investigate disparities, we will draw attention to key considerations in data interpretation (e.g., how to avoid drawing the wrong conclusion), as well as implications for system level policy development of different patterns of findings.

Tracy Bennett, Director of Analytics and Evaluation, Genevieve Williamson, MS, Chief Analyst, Focus Strategies (Consultant)

Genevieve serves as the chief analyst and supports a wide variety of analytic projects, with a particular focus on system and program level quantitative analyses using HMIS, program budget, and program inventory information. Since joining Focus Strategies in 2012, Genevieve has played key roles in developing and implementing data collection and analysis plans for homeless point in time counts for three communities. She participates in data analysis activities for many projects and coordinates with clients regarding data collection, analysis, and results, including addressing racial disparities in a variety of datasets, data mapping, data cleaning, and quality control. Genevieve is skilled in data analysis using Microsoft Excel, SPSS, and Stata. Genevieve earned her Bachelor’s degree in psychology, with a minor in sociology, from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and completed course work for a Master’s degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from California State University Sacramento.

Tracy Bennett, PhD, Director of Analytics and Evaluation, Focus Strategies (Consultant).
Tracy oversees and facilitates all data-informed planning and evaluation at Focus Strategies. She is responsible for the development of analytic tools, and has been instrumental in guiding the evolution of the SWAP suite of tools. Since joining Focus Strategies in 2014, Tracy has also participated in and overseen system analyses, strategic plans, and performance reports in many communities including Seattle/King County, WA; San Mateo County, CA; and Palm Beach County and Jacksonville, FL. Tracy has designed and led evaluations of specific components of homeless systems including Coordinated Entry for Pierce County, WA; Youth Coordinated Entry in Hollywood, CA (working with Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles), and a Rapid Rehousing Pilot Program for Single Adults in Phoenix, AZ (working with Valley of the Sun United Way); all of these projects addressed racial disparities in access to, utilization of, and/or outcome of service from homeless system resources. Other projects she oversees include Point-in-Time Count methodologies and the statistical analysis associated with extrapolating PIT data to estimate the number of people experiencing chronic homelessness in various communities. Tracy has more than 25 years of experience in performance measurement and outcomes, as well as using data to inform policy development. Her work has touched multiple areas of social study and policy, which include domestic violence and abuse, and mental illness and substance abuse amongst housed and homeless individuals. Tracy received a PhD at UCLA in Social Psychology, with two minors, one in Health Psychology and the other in Measurement and Statistics.