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  • Computerized county system will aid homeless

    Jan 26, 2015 | Read More News
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    Pima County residents struggling with unemployment, homelessness, mental health issues and other hardships will have easier access to a host of services thanks to a new coordinated online assessment tool being rolled out by the Tucson-Pima Collaboration to End Homelessness (TPCH) through the Pima County Employment, Services and Training (CSET) Department.

    homeless campThe creator of the assessment tool – Iain deJong – was in Tucson Jan. 12-14 to train employees of organizations that provide services to people experiencing homelessness. The new tool will enable providers to ask a detailed set of questions of clients to assess their history of housing and homelessness, risks, socialization and wellness, then score the results.

    “That score assesses clients’ vulnerability and directs them to the resources that best serves their needs,” explained Pamela Moseley, program specialist with the Homeless Management Information System.  Those who are more vulnerable, such as those who have spent a significant amount of time homeless or who have multiple risks, would qualify for more services, she said.

    The new system, called the Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool, enables the various agencies assisting people experiencing homelessness to connect electronically and in real time for the first time. Eventually, personnel in schools, hospitals and possibly jails could be connected to the system, said Moseley.

    Each year, the TPCH conducts a street count of people experiencing homelessness. This year’s count takes place from 6 to 11 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29, and will provide the community a more complete assessment of people experiencing homelessness. A number of officials are expected to help with the count, including District 5 Supervisor Richard Elías, Pima County Board of Supervisors.

    Pima County has been an active member of the TPCH since its formation. The county provides transitional housing for individuals and families experiencing homelessness through partnership with six non-profit service providers, as well as administering the Emergency Solution Grant activities such as Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, emergency motel vouchers, Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-housing. The Pima County One-Stop provides employment assistance at five locations: Rio Nuevo, Kino Service Center, Sullivan Jackson Employment Center, Youth Employment One-Stop Center and the Kino Veterans Workforce Center.

    The Coordinated Assessment system will be fully operational pending final approval by the TPCH, a coalition of government agencies, faith-based groups, and nonprofits who provide assistance to those experiencing homelessness. Pima County CSET will complete the roll out of the system within three months.