Los Angeles County, CA

Several years ago, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the County’s governing body, began an extensive conversation about the effectiveness and costs associated with the programs for the County’s homeless population. Having relied on anecdotal information from case workers for decades, the Board wanted to conduct a robust analysis of the agencies that served the homeless to understand the magnitude of these social services and to assess the most promising approaches to service delivery. The Board approached the County’s Chief Information Office (CIO) and asked if they might be able to provide the data for this study. The CIO told the Board that the agency had these data, but that the data were not organized in a useful way. For years, the CIO had housed these data in agency-specific silos. The Board persisted and asked Manuel Moreno and Halil Toros, two Ph.D. trained policy researchers, to develop an integrated data system to answer their questions about the County’s programs serving the homeless.

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