On any given night in 2016, there were 35,686 unaccompanied young people under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness across the U.S. Nearly one-third of these young people were residing in California. This week, in continuation of our Runaway and Homeless Youth Awareness Month blog series, we examine some of the characteristics of youth experiencing homelessness.
In recognition of November as Runaway and Homeless Youth Awareness Month, Applied Survey Research will be posting a series of blog posts highlighting the unique characteristics of young people experiencing homelessness, the challenges and successes found in responses to the crisis, and ways stakeholders can take action to prevent and end homelessness among young people in their communities.
ASR has a long history of conducting Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA). A favorite CHNA partner is Dignity Health’s Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) in Calaveras County. We have now completed the second consecutive Needs Assessment for MTMC. Check out this partner highlight to find out more about MTMC and our Needs Assessment process.
Learn about the recent Trauma Informed Systems (TIS) Community of Practice Kick Off hosted by Trauma Transformed and the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the upcoming Trauma Informed System of Care Conference hosted by Project Thrive. In addition, find out more about the trauma informed movement in Santa Cruz with Project Thrive and across the Bay Area with Trauma Transformed in this article. These projects are unique and working to shape system of care policies and practices throughout the Bay Area.
Did you know that in the United States there is a 15 year difference in life expectancy based on where you live, your income, education, race, and access to health care? You can view information by county on the health ranking in your area with the recently released 2017 County Health Rankings. Find out more in this article on how to view the rankings and how your community can use the data to improve its health outcomes and wellbeing.
ASR focuses its community building efforts to end homelessness through peer-centric data collection that informs community action. Read about how ASR's processes have developed and evolved from 2005 to 2017. Article included media links to coverage from the 2017 Homeless Point-In-Time Counts.
Triple P - Positive Parenting Program, a program of First 5 Santa Cruz County, released their 5-Year (2010-2015) report last Thursday (May 26th, 2016) highlighting the program's effectiveness of teaching practical, scientifically-proven parenting strategies in order to strengthen communication and relationships among families in Santa Cruz County.
Because the event draws folks from all walks of life, many who have never met before, it provides the opportunity for volunteers and guides to meet new people, many from different walks of life. When teams come back to their deployment centers, we frequently hear lots of stories about their time during the count. Here is a little sampling of some of those stories:
ASR has worked with county organizations to conduct a Homeless Census and Survey since 1999 and is proud to have worked in counties throughout California and the country. All counties hoping to receive funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are mandated to conduct a count of all homeless persons living in their county
ASR joined the United Way, Dominican Hospital, and a host of community stakeholders, elected officials, and interested community members for the release of the 21st annual Community Assessment Project (CAP). Santa Cruz County's CAP is the second longest running CAP in the country and has received national and international awards for its continued updates about life in Santa Cruz County.
Applied Survey Research had the privilege of attending the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) 5th World Forum on Statistics, Knowledge and Policy in Guadalajara, Mexico. The conference provided an opportunity to raise our gaze beyond community level work, hear from international experts and acknowledge our role in a global world.
Last year, our partners at Rise Together of the Bay Area (RT) came to us wanting more information on the best poverty reducing practices. With our extensive background in homelessness work and poverty research, we jumped on the opportunity to take a closer look at poverty reduction strategies.
On August 25th, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors began the first steps to create affordable housing for up to 2,000 people throughout the county. This new effort was based, in part, around the release of their biennial Homeless Census and Survey conducted by ASR.
Recently the Criminal Justice Council (CJC) of Santa Cruz County officially adopted the Youth Violence Prevention Task Force’s (YVPT) report on the ongoing issue of youth violence in Santa Cruz County. Find out more about the partners and report here.
ASR is extremely proud to announce a new addition to the team. Martine Watkins is joining ASR as our Action Research Coordinator. Find out more about Martine and the Action Research Coordinator role here.
We at ASR have the wonderful opportunity to work with fabulous partners - those who are committed, caring, and who make meaningful contributions to wellbeing for all. In so many instances we work together so intensely that we may not appreciate how well we work together and how much we accomplish when we work together.
Applied Survey Research is currently in the data collection, analysis and reporting phase for the 2015 biennial Homeless Census and Survey effort. ASR has partnered with 9 counties throughout California to produce demographic profiles and basic assessments of homeless persons living in each county, as well as population estimates of certain subpopulations and detailed information regarding their personal experiences facing homelessness. In 2015, ASR partnered with Santa Cruz, Santa Clara, San Francisco, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Sonoma, Marin, and Solano counties. This marks the first time we’ve partnered with Marin and Solano counties on their homeless census and survey, while it’s the ninth time that ASR has partnered with Santa Cruz County. It’s been an exciting time as ASR continues partnerships with familiar counties, while establishing new relationships as well.
The Homeless Census and Survey is based on a requirement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) that all counties (typically called a Continuum of Care) applying for homeless funding from the federal government should conduct a count of all homeless persons living in their county. It takes place during odd-numbered years across the country during the last 10 days of January. ASR’s method for counting has been recognized by HUD as a best practices model and employs a strategy where a volunteer from the community is teamed up with an individual currently experiencing homelessness. It is our experience that placing a homeless, paid guide with the volunteer brings first-hand knowledge and expertise to the team, allowing them to better recognize homeless individuals and to better locate homeless individuals. During the census efforts in virtually all the counties, we consistently heard from volunteers that the presence of the guide allowed them to identify homeless individuals that they would never have identified on their own. We even heard this from outreach worker staff whose job is to interface with the homeless on a daily basis.
Once the count is completed, ASR follows up with a detailed survey in order to get more in depth information on the experience and circumstances of homeless individuals in each county. The survey includes questions about their regular nighttime accommodations, where they were located before becoming homeless, what kinds of services they use, and many other questions designed to increase the understanding of homelessness in that particular county. Just like the count, ASR uses paid homeless individuals to conduct surveys. Respondents receive a gift for taking the survey and the interviewer is compensated for their effort as well. Homeless guide participation in the census and survey provides temporary employment but also has been great for their self-esteem and engagement.
The Homeless Census and Survey of 2015 has been a great experience so far and, as the survey portion is wrapping up, we look forward to analyzing all the excellent data we’ve received. While HUD can be quite strict in both homeless census methodology and data reporting requirements, there is room for community oriented questions and local outreach that is difficult to achieve through other sources. ASR hopes the data will inform and engage the community in developing local strategies that address the unique profiles that emerge. While there are many “best practice” solutions we can learn from, the best responses are those that address the unique characteristics and resources in our community. Data from the counts and the survey will be available to the public around late May or early June. It is our hope that our partner counties will be able to turn the information in these reports into positive change for the homeless individuals in their county.
A special thanks to any and all who participated in the counts throughout the Bay Area. We couldn’t have done it without you.
If you have any questions about ASR’s homeless projects, please contact Peter Connery at 831-728-1356 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ASR would like to share the opportunity to attend an event aimed at helping children mitigate the effects of Adverse Childhood Experiences as well as introduce new methods to help youth. There will be two days of events, the first on Friday December 12th and the second on Saturday December 13th. If you'd like to attend, visit their website here. This is an exciting opportunity and Derek Peterson is a great speaker and facilitator and we hope to see you there!
At the 2014 Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project release, heroes from the community were recognized for their contributions to Santa Cruz County. For their continued work with individuals experiencing homelessness, the United Way honored Project Homeless Connect (PHC) and its Steering Committee for their continued work to connect individuals experiencing homelessness with service providers to access to a wide variety of services. Since 2010, PHC has served thousands of individuals and in 2014, for the first time ever, expanded the annual project to a second event in Watsonville.
ASR was particularly excited to see the successes of Project Homeless Connect recognized, as our own Peter Connery is on the Steering Committee. We applaud Peter and the Steering Committee for their tireless efforts to help individuals experiencing homelessness.
To learn more about PHC, visit their website at www.phc-santacruz.org
On Monday, ASR celebrated the Santa Cruz County release of its 20th annual Community Assessment Project (CAP) at Cabrillo College. Speakers, including Craig Haney and Gary Griggs from UCSC and MariaElena De La Garze of the Community Action Board, presented findings from the various sections of the comprehensive CAP report. Following the presentation, community heroes were recognized with certificates from Congress, the State Legislature and the County Board of Supervisors. The Santa Crurz County CAP is the 2nd longest running community assessment project in the nation and provides an unparalleled look at the status and history of Santa Cruz.
Some of the findings from this year’s CAP include:
- Median sale price of homes increased to $535,000 in 2014
- Unemployment has been decreased over the last 3 years and was 6.8% as of June 2014
- 72% of Latino survey respondents reported being obese, compared to 58% of white respondents
- The crime rate decreased from 39.7 per 1,000 residents in 2007 to 34.3 in 2014
- The number of certified organic farmers has increased by 61% since 2006.
If you’d like to view the comprehensive report, visit our website at www.appliedsurveyresearch.org.