Podcast: Coordinating Care for People Experiencing or At-Risk for Homelessness in Chicago, IL

Padma Thangaraj, All Chicago Making Homelessness History

Padma Thangaraj, MS, PMP, is the Vice President of Information Services & Analytics at All Chicago Making Homelessness History, a nonprofit organization that is working to integrate housing, health, and human services data to coordinate care for Chicago residents that are experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness. As one of the pilot awardees of DASH CIC-START, All Chicago worked to refine their mechanisms for exchanging data between hospitals, health care payers, and the county’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). She joined the podcast to share her lessons learned and advice for others working to improve improve residential stability and health outcomes through the integration of HMIS and other data.

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3 Takeaways from the Interview

In the words of Padma Thangaraj…

1. Engage with multi-sector partners early and often

“Make sure that you bring all the important players to the table very early on–whether it be your legal team, your technology team, your systems/CoC implementation team. Even if it’s just a bunch of whiteboarding sessions over lunch, engaging all of your stakeholders early on is very critical to the process and to the success of any work that you do.”

2. Build a prototype to help partners see what is possible

“There is always this concern of information being shared, especially when it comes from such large sectors. The fact that we were able to overcome barriers to build a prototype that just did some minimal data exchange showed that this was possible, and that if we were transparent and shared all of this information, we could bring it to scale.”

3. Use multi-sector data to gain buy-in and investment from stakeholders

“Our hope and our real end goal is that if we have this data infrastructure in place, if we’re able to show what the need is and what the gaps are, and if we’re able to actually show some cost savings to some of these sectors, that these dollars will translate back into the housing sector.”

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