Connect and improve processes and communication around services for the homeless population
CLV seeks to improve the communications loop between someone experiencing homelessness, the service provider and the potential landlord. A more effective and efficient means to connect persons needing housing with those who have housing available would relieve CLV staff of the burden of fruitless searches for eligible registrants.
Goals & Objectives
Goals & Objectives
To be successful, a solution will:
Provide streamlined, effective matching of registered clients to available housing.
Eliminate manual searching for housing placements and tedious case notes in the HMIS system asking service providers to “be on the lookout” for a client.
Smooth, confidential communications about housing connections.
Integrate with CMIS/HMIS privacy-conserving features.
Cloud-based connection to the statewide database of available affordable housing.
When an appropriate spot becomes available a text or email notification goes to the case worker, the homeless individual and the landlord.
All three stakeholders can communicate quickly to get someone housed.
Provide an applicant with a notification in-time to actually take advantage of the officer.
The landlord with the open unit would be able to place a person or family in it in an expeditious manner.
CLV able collect data to track client placements, ensuring that outcomes are measured to preempt and prevent clients from becoming unhoused again.
An ideal solution will:
Provide connections to other services available to applicants at the state and local levels.
Be an electronic means for pushing notification to the mobile phone of the applicant, and enabling that applicant being able to acknowledge the notification and accept the offer using their mobile phone. This would also provide the applicant notification in time to actually take advantage of the officer. The landlord with the open unit would be able to place a person or family in it in an expeditious manner. A statewide database of available affordable housing exists, but connections to it are manual processes requiring coordinated efforts among people working in different agencies. Currently, manual searches are made for housing placements and tedious case notes entered into the system asking service providers to “be on the lookout” for a client.
Be a cloud-based, secure connection to the state system of available housing is desired to support an automated process that notifies via text or email all three stakeholders when an appropriate spot becomes available: the case worker with CLV Neighborhood Services, the homeless individual/family and the landlord. All three stakeholders would be able to communicate quickly amongst each other to effectively match the person(s) with the appropriate housing, and acceptance (by the landlord and the potential tenant) of an agreement to secure the housing, update appropriate records, and notify status to everyone involved.
Release of Challenge: March 21, 2023
Responses Due: April 28, 2023
Questions Due: April 11, 2023
Determination of Selected Startups: May 2023
Expected Work to Begin: June 2023
NOTE: The government reserves the right to modify the dates listed at its sole discretion.
City of Las Vegas, NV
A global destination with more than 42 million annual visitors, Las Vegas boasts one of the country’s fastest growing economies and delivers excitement 24/7 in the form of world-class entertainment and hospitality, gaming, dining and shopping. The City of Las Vegas (CLV) which encompasses more than 133 square miles, has an elected mayor and city council that sets policy for a community that is home to more than 640,000 residents. Las Vegas is center of business for many reasons, including global accessibility, tax advantages, climate and lifestyle, and is a world leader in sustainability thanks to its residents, businesses and visitors. In our hyper-connected world and in a community as affluent as Las Vegas, connecting 5,000 unhoused people (out of a population of 650,000) shouldn’t be a challenge that cannot be overcome with effective technology.
Most of Southern Nevada’s estimated 5,000 homeless population congregate near downtown Las Vegas, where there are more services available to them including the City of Las Vegas (CLV) Courtyard Homeless Resources Center. Just about half of the unhoused individuals and families reside temporarily in shelters, while the rest are unsheltered.
Besides providing immediate assistance such as emergency temporary shelter and medical services, CLV tries to refer clients to permanent housing with referrals to a regional clearinghouse of available properties, including apartments and houses.
People experiencing homelessness throughout Southern Nevada may seek services from one or more of many public agencies and nonprofit organizations trying to serve them. CLV is one of those agencies.
CLV is hampered by a fragmented service delivery process that has many potential points of failure for communicating the availability of a unit and the registered applicant actually being able to take advantage of the offer immediately.
The CLV Neighborhood Services Department (NSD) provides programs and services that foster community pride through human services, outreach and community initiatives that improve the safety, health and wellness of our citizens and sustainable neighborhoods. Among NSD’s programs are those dealing with persons (individuals or families) who are unhoused. NSD collaborates with multiple agencies and NGOs, each of which has a role to play in finding available housing. NSD must be able to act quickly to match eligible clients with an available housing slot that becomes available. NSD is currently unable to communicate quickly and effectively with other agencies that monitor and publicize when a housing placement/slot becomes available for eligible clients.
NSD staff may possess the necessary information, but still be unable to rapidly locate the person awaiting housing. The person hoping to be matched with an available unit may be unaware that an opening exists before they are bypassed for the next person on the waiting list. As a result, a homeless individual or family may miss an opportunity to get housed.
Another reason NSD struggles with sharing data or retrieving data is that CLV participates in the Nevada Community & Homeless Management Information System (CMIS/HMIS) which is an online database that enables it to collect data on the services it provides to people experiencing homelessness. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) requires CLV and other local agencies to make use of CMIS/HMIS.
The problem is that the CMIS/HMIS has security features that ensure data about clients remains strictly confidential; data is only provided to other agencies upon the permission of the client. In addition, it only allows users to see client information that they have permission to see. While this is great for protecting a client’s privacy, it is an obstacle for agencies to leverage data within it to aid in matching clients with available housing in an expeditious manner.
Proposers who have questions should send these to email@example.com at any time until [one (1) week prior] to the due date for proposals. All responses to questions will be posted on the Challenge page on CivStart’s website at: civstart.org/projects
Responses to Questions
Does the CMIS/HMIS have a REST API to integrate with? If not, does CMIS/HMIS allow flat file data import/export or direct database integration?
The CMIS/HMIS is a product of Clarity [Bigfocus]. Only users with access privileges can perform exports/imports. The City of Las Vegas has access privileges for its data.
Exporting data from the system is accomplished using the [HUDX-111] HUD CSV/XML Program Data Export report available in the reporting area. The exported data is formatted in HUD CSV or XML.
Bitfocus’s RESTfuls XML API import tool allows users to programmatically access the Data Import tool (DIT) and import HMIS data standards as well as custom fields.
The City of Las Vegas has staff to assist with both exports and imports of data.
What statewide database is used?
Is there a list of available fields that show what information is used to match a client to an available housing unit today? Or what is the process a case manager goes through to match a client to an available housing post?
Yes, a list of formatted fields can be provided. In addition, a City of Las Vegas case manager is available to explain the workflow (limited documentation available).
Does this dataset include the landlord contact information? If not, where does a case manager find the landlord details?
Yes, among the fields are contact information related to the landlord/property owner/representative. Again, a CLV case manager can fill in other details about the workflow.
Is it required for the application process to be created, signed, and sent via the platform? If not, what are the current tools/software/process used to do so?
Not entirely. Automated and manual pieces can be provided and explained to give a clearer picture of the end-to-end process.
Are clients able to have secondary and tertiary contacts that are authorized to receive notifications in the event that the client is unable to receive them?
To-be-determined, but likely yes.
What data can be exported from the statewide database without the residents consent (e.g. name, contact details)? Considering the information required for the communication and matching to work.
As part of the discovery effort, a CLV case manager will details what data related to a client and to a landlord will be accessible/downloadable, including confidential data to protect.
The challenge response form will include the following questions:
A. Startup/Company Information
Contact Phone Number
Team Size/ Total number of team members in your company or team.
Case Studies: URL for background material on your product or team (i.e., video, case studies, blog piece, etc.), if any.
Briefly describe the product / service your company or team can provide (max 300 characters).
B. Program Expectations and Commitments
Interviews are anticipated to take place in May or June with the option of being done virtually or in person. Will you be available during this time?
Are you able to commit to visiting the location of this government organization once?
The response to this Challenge is to establish a free or low-cost short-term pilot with clear objectives identified in a Scope of Work. A full contract may be considered at the end of the pilot program.
C. Program Proposal
Description of your proposed solution.
How will your technology help the city achieve its outcomes?
Will you be creating a new product / service, or will you be customizing an existing product / service for this challenge?
What makes your team qualified to work on this challenge (i.e., previous customer success, professional experience, academic degrees, research, previous product development experience, etc.)?
D. Cost Proposal
What is the estimated range of the cost of you to build and pilot your proposed solution product / service?
What is the estimated range of average hourly labor costs for key staff required to develop and pilot your product/service?
What is the estimated range of any equipment or software that would need to be purchased to demonstrate and/or pilot your product / service?
E. Conflicts of Interest
Describe any potential conflicts of interest that your firm may have regarding the project, as well as individual conflicts of proposed personnel, if any.