The Homelessness Individuals and Families Information System: A Case Study in Canadian Capacity Building (1)

By Peressini, Tracy; Engeland, John | Canadian Journal of Urban Research, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

The Homelessness Individuals and Families Information System: A Case Study in Canadian Capacity Building (1)


Peressini, Tracy, Engeland, John, Canadian Journal of Urban Research


Abstract

This is a case study of a multi-stage collaborative process spearheaded by Canada Housing and Mortgage Corporation from 1995 to 2001 to address the lack of high quality and reliable information about the homeless in Canada. The community-based collaborative efforts and ground-up process used to develop the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) are detailed, as are some of the obstacles and difficulties encountered in attempting to achieve consensus over the design, intent and purpose of the tool. HIFIS was built on a series of broad-based coalitions which included: government officials, university researchers, service providers, front-line workers and the homeless themselves. HIFIS is an administrative tool designed to assist shelter providers to collect longitudinal, multi-location, standardized data about consumers, with the goal of improving service coordination, program development and public policy. The primary concerns identified throughout the collaborative process were client anonymity and confidentiality, as well as control and ownership of the information collected. Finally, the positive outcomes and challenges associated with creating and sustaining a nation-wide effort to build capacity in the homeless service providing community are discussed.

Keywords: Homelessness, Data Collection and Management, Canadian Shelters, Capacity Building

Resume

Il s'agit d'une etude de cas portant sur un processus de collaboration en plusieurs etapes chapeaute de 1995 a 2001 par la Societe canadienne d'hypotheques et de logement qui avait pour but de combler une lacune en matiere d'information fiable et de grande qualite sur les sans-abri du Canada. Les efforts de collaboration communautaires et le processus issu de la base utilise pour mettre sur pied le Systeme d'information sur les personnes et les familles sans abri (SISA) sont decrits en detail tout comme certains obstacles et difficultes qui ont marque les tentatives effectuees pour en arriver a un consensus relativement a la conception, au but et a l'utilisation de cet outil. Le SISA a ete monte a partir d'une serie de coalitions diversifiees formdes notamment de fonctionnaires gouvernementaux, de chercheurs universitaires, de fournisseurs de services, de travailleurs de premiere ligne et d'itinerants. Le SISA est un outil administratif concu pour aider les centres d'hebergement a recueillir des donnaes longitudinales et normalisees, provenant de plusieurs endroits, au sujet des utilisateurs, le but etant d'ameliorer la coordination des services, l'elaboration des programmes et la politique officielle. Les principales preoccupations soulevees tout au long du processus de collaboration avaient trait a l'anonymat des clients et a la confidentialite des renseignements les concernant, ainsi qu'a la gestion et a la propriete des donnees recueillies. Enfin, on commente les resultats favorables obtenus et les difficultes qui ont marque la creation et le maintien d'un effort national devant developper le potentiel des organismes de services aux sans-abri.

Mots eles : Itinerance, Abris Canadienne, capacite-batiment

Introduction

Over the last two decades governments world-wide have recognized the need for collaborative efforts to integrate the knowledge, expertise and experience of researchers, social service practitioners and policy makers into a unified systemic approach that provides a framework to address the complex needs and well-being of vulnerable populations (Weible et al., 2004; Smith, 2003; Thomas, 2001; Thomas, 1999; Mandell, 1999; Eade, 1997; Chaskin, Joseph and Chipenda-Dansokho, 1997; Mulroy and Shay, 1997). Yet, the concepts of community development, capacity building and, especially, collaboration are comparatively new to the community providing services and shelter to the homeless in Canada. In many regards this Canadian service providing community has operated autonomously, rarely engaging in collaborative efforts to address the problem of homelessness collectively locally, regionally or nationally. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Homelessness Individuals and Families Information System: A Case Study in Canadian Capacity Building (1)
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.