Over the last six months with funding from the City of Knoxville, the Knoxville Homeless Management Information System (KnoxHMIS) has developed an interactive community dashboard on homelessness.
KnoxHMIS, one of UT’s signature Partnerships that Make a Difference, is a project that has long been supervised by Dr. David Patterson of the UT College of Social Work and managed through the Social Work Office of Research and Public Service. Patterson is also chair of UT’s Academic Outreach and Engagement Council.
The new “Dashboard Report” is an at-a-glance informational resource on the issue of homelessness and the performance of local homeless service providers, and is a unique feature of KnoxHMIS. Patterson notes, “You will not see a dashboard like this anywhere in the nation that has this level of data.”
As part of an expanded effort to collaborate with the city’s Plan to Address Homelessness, KnoxHMIS created the new resource for community members to include data on causes of homelessness, shelter recidivism, and other measures of homelessness.
This project was spearheaded by the KnoxHMIS Data Analyst, Lisa Higginbotham, MSSW. Lisa secured the requisite grant funding from the city, specified the parameters and scope of the dashboard website, and then worked closely with programmer Gary Moats to bring the dashboard to life.
Community partner involvement has been a distinctive feature of the dashboard’s development. Of the project, Higginbotham states, “This is only possible because of the conscientious support of our local partners.” KnoxHMIS worked closely with community partners to develop the database in a way that is both accessible and practical. In a recent presentation to the City of Knoxville, Higginbotham presented the final details of the data dashboard to the Mayor’s round table that included representatives from social service agencies from across the city.