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Research Report

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The Center for Social Policy (CSP) at the McCormack Institute, University of Massachusetts Boston oversees the Connection, Service, and Partnership through Technology (CSPTech) project. CSPTech operates a homeless management information system being implemented throughout the Commonwealth. Founded in 1995, this project is a networked computerized record-keeping system that allows homeless service providers across Massachusetts to collect uniform client information over time. This information is aggregated in a database used by service providers, advocates, government officials, researchers, and people experiencing homelessness. Analysis of this information is critical to efforts to understand the extent of this problem in Massachusetts in an attempt to break the cycle of homelessness and poverty.

Through multi-year contracts with the City of Boston and the State of Massachusetts, more than 110 homeless programs serving individuals are currently involved in the CSPTech project, representing over 60% of the homeless individuals served in emergency shelter in the state. These data represent the result of an intensive, cooperative effort over the past several years of service providers throughout the state of Massachusetts. Through the period of transition of the CSPTech project from use of an older access-based system to a new web-based information system, CSPTech staff, service providers, and consumers felt the effects of a shift in culture with the implementation of a new Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) in Massachusetts.



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