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Supervisor Nathan Fletcher’s policy to use predictive analytics to prevent people from becoming homeless in San Diego County received the support of the other Supervisors during their meeting on Tuesday. After the vote, Supervisor Fletcher issued the following statement:

“Developing this tool will keep people from becoming homeless,” said Supervisor Fletcher.  “We will continue to tackle the crisis that exists on our streets, but we must invest in preventative actions like this one that stops people from becoming unhoused. This new technology will do it.”

A comprehensive integrated data system will be developed using multiple data points, both internal and external, to create a system that allows County employees to evaluate if a person is at risk of becoming homeless and offer support to keep them housed.  The policy also calls for creating a Homeless Prevention Unit within the Office of Homelessness Solutions to conduct direct outreach to individuals. The department will have 180 days to return to the Board with a plan for implementation.  

San Diego County is following the lead of a proven model for homeless prevention. In 2020, the County of Los Angeles (L.A. County) began to address the housing and homelessness crisis by centralizing data for analysis to prevent homelessness before it starts. 

L.A. County invested in a predictive tool[6] developed by University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) researchers that pulls data from eight county agencies to assist outreach workers by focusing their attention and assistance on individuals and families believed to be at the greatest risk of losing their homes or on the verge of homelessness.[7]

To learn more about the policy, read here