Standardized Performance Measures

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1 Standardized Performance Measures Recommended Milestones and Outcome Targets for Homeless Programs HIGH PERFORMANCE SERIES The 100,000 Homes Campaign team identified a cohort of factors that are correlated with higher housing placement rates across campaign communities. The purpose of this High Performance Series of tools is to spotlight best practices and expand the movement s peer support network by sharing this knowledge with every community. This tool addresses Factors #11, 12 and 13: Standardized Performance Measures for Outreach, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing and Permanent Supportive Housing Programs. The full series is available at: performance- series

2 Standardized Performance Measures Recommended Target Outcomes and Milestones for Homeless Programs Ending homelessness is achievable. To get there, communities need a set of common performance measures to more strategically target their efforts in a system with limited resources. This tool helps communities and individual homeless providers: define and agree to a shared set of measures for success track progress toward a common set of milestone and outcomes identify areas in need of improvement What are Performance Measures, Milestones, and Outcome Targets? Performance measures are areas of performance that are viewed as important to a specific program. Outcomes are the concrete, measurable results that a program achieves, and milestones are interim steps that clients take on the way to achieving a concrete outcome. Tracking client and program- level progress towards milestone and outcome targets keeps everybody on track and promotes transparency around program performance. Setting targets on a timeline can establish a sense of shared accountability among staff at all levels for achieving quality and measurable program outcomes. Using this Standardized Performance Measures tool can help your community and/or program more effectively and efficiently house chronic and vulnerable individuals by shifting your culture towards using data to support internal program quality. Why Are Standardized Performance Measures Important for Homeless Programs? The ability to measure your program s performance is a powerful tool. It helps you understand whether your program s efforts are moving your clients toward the end goal: ending homelessness via housing placement and/or housing retention. Once performance targets are set, they can be used to measure performance, report progress along the way, and inform any improvements that need to be made. Using standardized outcome targets across the entire homeless system will help measure system- wide progress and impact allowing the sector to collaborate more effectively. What are the Campaign s Recommended Performance Measures? Measures for Outreach Programs Percentage of chronic and vulnerable street homeless clients encountered who agree to work with Outreach Team toward housing placement within six months of the first encounter Percent of total engagements that are with chronic/vulnerable individuals Service Linkage: Percent of engaged individuals with a specific condition that are linked to a relevant service Percent of engaged clients who receive condition- specific services 2

3 Percent of engaged clients who move into transitional housing, safe havens or emergency shelters Percent of engaged clients that move into permanent housing Percent of street homeless clients that move into emergency shelter, transitional housing, Safe Havens, or permanent housing within 30 days Percent of clients placed into emergency shelter, transitional housing, safe havens, and permanent housing that return to homelessness Measures for Emergency Shelters Percent of admitted clients who did not have needed benefits at program entry that exit program with needed benefits Percent of denied admissions due to active substance use Percent of denied admissions or expulsions due to a positive drug toxicology Percent of denied admissions due to mental illness Percent of denied admissions or expulsions due medication non- compliance (TB compliance is an exception) Percent of clients served who are chronically homeless Percent of admitted clients that exit to permanent housing Percent of clients moving into permanent housing that do so within 90 days Percent of clients moving into permanent housing that do so within 180 days Percent of clients placed into permanent housing that return to homelessness within one year Measures for Transitional Housing Programs 1 Percent of transitional housing clients who move on to permanent housing Percent of clients moving into permanent housing within 90 days Percent of clients placed into permanent housing that return to homelessness Increased Income: increased cash income from any source between intake & exit Increased Income: increased earned income between intake & exit Percent of admitted clients who are employed at exit from shelter Percent of admitted clients who did not have a needed benefit at program entry that exit program with needed benefit Measures for Permanent Supportive Housing Programs Percent of homeless in permanent housing for over 6 months Percent of homeless in permanent housing for over 1 year Percent of new tenants entering directly from emergency shelter without passing through transitional housing Percent of new tenants taken directly from the streets without going through emergency shelter or transitional housing Percent of new tenants that meet the HUD definition of chronic or the Campaign s definition of vulnerable at time of admission Percent of clients no longer in need of supportive housing (just housing subsidy) moved on to more independent housing each year Percent of tenants discharged for non- compliance with service participation 1 While the Campaign strongly believes that communities should be moving away from transitional housing (TH) as they implement Housing First, we also want this tool to have optimum utility for communities. Recognizing that HUD currently requires all communities report on TH outcomes, we have included this TH section in the tool. 3

4 Where Did These Measures Come From? The 100,000 Homes Campaign and CUCS came up with these measures based upon their experience working with programs throughout the county and by reviewing existing measures or performance standards from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Home for Good (LA County). The Home for Good Standards of Excellence were developed by workgroups facilitated by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) and Shelter Partnership. The final tab in the attached Excel Spreadsheet References for Targets provides specific information on how each target was formulated. While we believe the performance measures are the areas of performance each type of program should be concerned with, the actual performance targets are meant merely as guides. These performance measures are not intended to replace or supersede any performance measures required by your program s funders. How do I use this tool? This tool includes an accompanying spreadsheet designed to help you establish performance targets on what we believe to be the core milestones and outcomes for homeless programs and to track your progress over time. The spreadsheet consists of the following Tabs: Tab 1 Outreach Targets Tab 2 Emergency Shelter Targets Tab 3 Transitional Housing Targets Tab 4 Permanent Supportive Housing Targets Tab 5 References for Performance Measures We have provided some recommended starting targets (column B), but depending upon your baseline and the specifics of your program, you may decide to start with lower targets (with a goal of getting to our targets over time) or even higher targets. Below are some step- by- step instructions on how to best use this tool. Step 1 Go to the tab for your program type (Outreach, Emergency Shelter, Transitional Housing or Permanent Supportive Housing) Step 2 Enter your program s current performance as a baseline for all outcome measures in Column C. Don t worry if you don t know your program s performance at this time, just leave the column blank. If your program s funders require that you track additional performance measures, feel free to insert them and track them here. If a funder s performance measure requires you to track the same basic data as our measures but is worded slightly differently, feel free to just incorporate your funder s language into the appropriate measure in this tool. 4

5 Step 3 Define a timeline on which you would like to track your targets. We recommend monthly but you may feel you can only do this on a quarterly basis. We do not recommend a longer timeline than quarterly. Step 4 Add your program s performance target for the upcoming period. You will start with Column D for Period 1 and prior to the next reporting period you will fill in new (often higher) targets for the next reporting period (Columns, G, J, L, O, R and then every third column from then on). If you have data from the previous period, you will likely want to set at least some of your targets for the next period slightly higher than the target for the previous period, so that your program is always striving to improve. But it is very difficult to work on improving too many things at once, so it is fine to select 1-2 targets for improvement each reporting period. Step 5 As each reporting period ends, enter your actual data in the Actual Program Performance column for the period you are in (Columns E, H, K, N, Q, T and then every third column from then on). Step 6 After inputting your actual data each reporting period, check the Variance between the target performance and your actual performance for the corresponding period (Columns F, I, L, O, R and U). Determine if there are areas in which your actual performance has exceeded your target for the reporting period and the areas where your actual performance was below your target. Choose one or two targets that you would like to improve for the next period and go back to Step 4. Who Does This Well? Hundreds of programs around the country are setting performance targets and tracking their progress toward meeting them. Of particular note are Los Angeles County and Home for Good, which are establishing standards of excellence for all outreach, emergency shelter and permanent supportive housing programs. Related Tools and Resources ü Common Eligibility Criteria for Emergency Shelter Programs ü Common Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Supportive Housing Programs ü Coordinated Outreach Tracker For more information and support, please contact Erin Healy, Improvement Advisor - 100,000 Homes Campaign, at 5

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