HUD Racial Equity Demo

In partnership with Black, Indigenous/Native, and People of Color including people with lived experience, eight Continuum of Care groups nationwide identified system disparities through local data, agreed-upon focus area(s) and engaged in a rapid iteration improvement project to test racially equitable assessment questions and related Coordinated Entry processes. Chicago was one of the participating communities in this first cohort. Our participation helped us identify ways to improve the racial equity of our Coordinated Entry System.

Chicago's core team was made up of representatives from the Lived Experience Commission, Youth Action Board, All Chicago, CSH, and the Center for Housing and Health. This six-person team included three people of color with lived experience of homelessness.

Chicago Racial Equity Demo Goals

  1. Replace the Single Individual Vulnerability Index
  2. Improve housing outcomes for justice-involved folx

Community Sessions

Wrap Up Session, August 25, 2021

This session focused on sharing data from a test accomplished to improve the CE Housing Assessment and plans to improve housing outcomes for justice-involved folx. Participants were asked for feedback to shape this work.

August, 2021 Community Session PowerPoint Presentation

One Community Session, held in April of 2021, focused on improving housing outcomes for justice involved folx. As follow up, members from the Lived Experience Commission and Youth Action Board took ideas suggested at the community session and determined the next steps.

Two Equity Demo Community Sessions were held on the topic of replacing the Individual Vulnerability Index following a community survey and focus group with the Lived Experience Commission.

Recording of the Community Session on March 4th

Recording of the Community Session on February 19 and PowerPoint

This process involved testing questions aimed to represent the experiences of Black and Brown people as a way of learning if new questions will be more racially equitable than the current questions that are used to score people based on need. The survey, focus group, and community sessions all finalized plans for the test posted below.

Replacing the Individual Vulnerability Index Test

From March 15th - April 15th, a group of Skilled Assessors selected because they complete the most assessments and updates for single individuals asked these six additional questions:

  1. Have you ever in your life, spent any amount of time in a juvenile or adult correctional facility, jail, prison, or detention center?
  2. Growing up, did your family experience housing instability such as frequently moving due to financial reasons, living with other families, relatives, (also known as doubling up), living in a shelter, living in nightly or monthly rentals, or anything like that?
  3. Have you ever been discriminated against because of your sexual orientation or gender identity? 
  4. Do you identify as a Black, Indigenous/Native, and/or a Person of Color who has been discriminated against because of your race or ethnicity?
  5. Have you experienced violence in a home where you lived or seen others experience violence in a home where you lived? Violence can be physical or emotional
  6. Are you currently being hurt or experiencing violence on the streets or in a shelter or attempting to avoid people who have hurt you since experiencing homelessness?

Next Steps

  1. A CE Housing Assessment test was put in place to ask scored questions meant to capture the experiences of Black and Brown people. Data showing the difference in assessment scores for individuals when using the Individual VI, test questions, and other options were shared with the community. The CE Individual Acuity workgroup will take all feedback and draft a recommendation for the CE Leadership Team related to the CE Housing Assessment and prioritization of single individuals. To join this workgroup, please e-mail jstorck@allchicago.org.
  2. Following a community session and workgroup of people with lived experience, key areas were identified to improve the housing outcomes of people with justice involvement. This plan will go to the Racial Equity Leadership Team to provide support and guidance for a Justice Involvement Workgroup to be created under the Racial Equity Line of Action. For more information please e-mail Elizabeth Perez at eperez@allchicago.org. As more details are available, they will be shared through the Chicago Continuum of Care Slack Channel.

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