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HOMELESSNESS County Supervisor Fletcher proposes data-driven homeless prevention plan



From cancer screenings to regular blood pressure tests, medical experts learned long ago to look for health problems while they’re still small so they can be prevented from growing larger. Some think that same approach should apply to homelessness.

The county Board of Supervisors will consider supporting a new initiative that would attempt to use digital clues to better predict who is likely to lose their home soon, helping target social services toward keeping roofs over people’s heads.

Proposed by board chair Nathan Fletcher and up for consideration Tuesday during the supervisors’ regular meeting, the initiative suggests that San Diego County should take inspiration from Los Angeles County, which has recently received significant media attention for using data analytic means to prevent homelessness.

“This is where we can analyze a considerable amount of data that the county already has to really predict someone who is at a high risk or very vulnerable to becoming homeless and then proactively reach out to them and engage with them,” Fletcher said Monday.

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