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Snowflake’s Data Cloud Helps State of California Gain Insights to Combat Homelessness

More people experience homelessness in California than in any other state in the U.S.

According to a recent federal report,[1] there were 161,548 homeless people in California during the official count in January 2020. As high as this number is, California outreach workers reported that they provided services to 248,130 people experiencing homelessness in 2020.

To combat the problem, California recently unveiled a first-of-its-kind Homeless Data Integration System (HDIS). The system enables the state to better account for and track the homeless population, and to measure and analyze local and statewide efforts to address homelessness.

The HDIS is helping California improve services for the unhoused and make data-informed policy decisions in its efforts to combat homelessness. Snowflake’s Data Cloud enables the HDIS to securely centralize, combine, collaborate on, and analyze data from multiple sources.

By gathering data on homelessness into Snowflake’s single data repository, HDIS offers a comprehensive picture of efforts to address homelessness statewide. Users can get information on what services are being provided, who is accessing those services, and what interventions are proving to be most effective.

HDIS also facilitates coordination across the state by identifying patterns of homelessness, services usage across geographic regions, and enables efforts to identify and address racial and other inequalities among people experiencing homelessness. Many of these metrics were unavailable until the development of HDIS.

For example, the HDIS reports that out of the people experiencing homelessness who accessed services in 2020:

●               41% reported a disabling condition

●               9% were veterans

●               17% reported experiences with domestic violence

●               22% were under the age of 18

Data from 44 different continuums of care (CoCs) in the state will eventually be consolidated in the Snowflake Data Cloud, creating one source of truth from which data can be analyzed and shared. In the Snowflake Data Cloud, all HDIS data is fully governed and secure, with controls on access and privacy.

The state of California previously partnered with Snowflake to create the COVID-19 Research Database via Snowflake Data Cloud [1] to easily and securely conduct large-scale research on COVID-19. Snowflake is working closely with Plante Moran, the system integrator for the HDIS project.

“By partnering on the HDIS, Snowflake is excited to help the State of California gain actionable insights that will help combat homelessness,” said Ted Girard, Vice President of Public Sector at Snowflake. “Snowflake’s Data Cloud allows the HDIS to reside in one centralized location, enabling fast, reliable, and secure access to accurate information. With Snowflake Secure Data Sharing, data never moves, so users can securely share, combine, and analyze near real-time data in the HDIS. In addition, managers can fully govern access to data sets and control who sees what data when.”

For more information on how the public sector is leveraging Snowflake’s Data Cloud to power IT modernization, improve citizen services, and drive innovation and efficiency, visit Snowflake for Government.


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