Position on Reporting Effectiveness of Shelter for the Homeless in PL & Template for Quantitative Report

It is a challenge to clearly report effectiveness of the shelter for the homeless. In Poland shelters differ between each other and provide services of individually defined scope. Majority of them is run by non-profit organizations partially funded by local government. They act in different local settings and have to adjust to specific conditions and needs. People who stay in them have experienced very different living situations and have various support needs. Therefore results of the support provided by the shelter are not he same: for some people it would be protection from freezing for others it would be a transition to a welfare home, family home or independent housing. Taken this into consideration we believe it would be unfair to pronounce one only outcome measure for all shelters, however difficulties cannot justify no outcome reporting at all. These services are funded from public money. We find a solution in preparing and publishing a transparent report including reliable information on the scale and condition of service users on the beginning of their stay and at the end assisted by some contextual information on the scope of the service. We do not judge which level/scale of change means effectiveness and which doesn’t. We just think it has to be made public for anyone to make his own judgement or just to know. Based on CMSA experience on running a comprehensive data collection system on our clients which is based on data collection standard on homelessness and housing exclusion (ETHOS typology and MPHASIS core variables on homelessness) we created a Template for Quantitative Report (download) on effectiveness of classic shelter supporting getting out of homelessness in Poland.  In our Position we made four postulates to various stakeholders in this regard: 1. We encourage all institutions which run Classic Shelters for Getting Out of Homelessness to prepare an annual report based on Template for Quantitative Report. 2. We invite workers and managers of shelters and other services for the homeless to familiarize themselves with procedures allowing CMSA for almost automatic and quick preparation of the Quantitative Report based on the template. We organize presentations and trainings. 3. We appeal to The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy to establish incentives for homelessness service providers for creating and managing professional client registers which are necessary for  preparation of the Quantitative Report in accordance with the Template. Incentives should be put in place to make the Quantitative Report common and finally obligatory for each Shelter for Getting Out of Homelessness. 4. We declare cooperation with researchers who would like to advance knowledge on homelessness and housing exclusion based on data collected by our organization. We can provide data upon individual application of the researcher. We remind that all data allowing for identification of our clients will be removed. Please contact us at: ursus@misja.com.pl CMSA declares to publish the Quantitative Report of the Saint Lazarus Boarding House till 31st of January each year for the past year. We know that major Polish service providers, especially networks of service providers, do have the capacity to publish reports based on the Template. The full Statement including explanation of its content is available in PL here.