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April 27, 2021 Press Release 6 min read

Plante Moran and partners support California’s efforts to address homelessness by building a first-of-its-kind homeless data integration solution.

View of a street in California during the day.Southfield, Michigan – Plante Moran has successfully supported the state of California in building and launching the Homeless Data Integration System, a critical resource that will provide access to the data the state needs to make policy decisions to prevent and end homelessness.

Under the direction of Gov. Gavin Newsom and in just 15 weeks, California recently unveiled a first-of-its-kind Homeless Data Integration System, or HDIS, that offers a comprehensive picture of efforts to address homelessness. HDIS is a statewide initiative that brings a critical resource online that will support the state to provide permanent housing to almost 100,000 Californians experiencing homelessness each year.

California tapped the expertise of Plante Moran to lead the project, working with the state and its 44 regional continuums of care, or CoCs, to gather data into a single system. A priority program integral to the success of the state’s overall economic action plan, the HDIS will enable all those focused on homelessness to answer key questions, such as:

  • What services are being provided?
  • Who is accessing those services?
  • What interventions are proving to be most effective?

“This is a monumental step,” said Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes Castro Ramírez, who chairs the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council. “The partnership with local continuums of care to establish the HDIS warehouse gives the state and local governments greater visibility and a unified view of California’s homelessness response system.

“We are excited to see how communities will utilize the combined data to improve services, increase housing connections, and strengthen coordination.”

Each CoC collects data about the people it serves and the services it offers according to common federal standards set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, or HUD. Prior to the HDIS, data was siloed regionally. Neither CoCs nor the state had consistent access to comprehensive statewide data. Integration of data into HDIS establishes California’s first statewide repository of common homelessness data and streamlines information and analysis by combining information from 44 separate systems into one single point of access.

“In partnership with Solari Crisis and Human Services, our technology partners and the state of California, Plante Moran is excited to release HDIS, which will help organizations better serve individuals with some of the greatest needs in our community,” says Trevor Brown, management consulting partner at Plante Moran. “We believe this initiative will be nationally recognized for its concept and approach to driving data-informed responses that address so many challenges that exist not only in California, but across the United States.

“While HDIS is scaled to support the nation’s largest population of people experiencing homelessness, the solution can be ‘right-sized’ to any state or local agency striving to better serve its homeless population.”

To create HDIS, Plante Moran partnered with some of the world’s leading technology and data management companies, including:

  • Informatica, which provides data integration at-scale to seamlessly manage, orchestrate, and offer trusted data across multiple systems (on-prem or cloud).
  • Snowflake, which provides the data platform, enabling the HDIS to securely share, combine, and analyze data in near real-time.
  • Tableau (NYSE: CRM), which provides the user interface and provides real-time reporting and analysis.
  • Amazon Web Services (Nasdaq: AMZN), which provides secure and resilient cloud infrastructure and services.
  • Solari Crisis and Human Services, which is an award-winning Arizona nonprofit that partners with communities to provide solutions that improve public access to local services and resources.

The new HDIS provides information about service coordination throughout the state by identifying patterns of service usage across geographic regions and supporting efforts to identify and address racial and other inequalities among people experiencing homelessness. This information can be used to support technical assistance, planning, funding, and coordination of policy and decision-making at the state, regional, city, and local community level.

Details of HDIS and comprehensive data visualizations are available on the California Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council website.

What our partners are saying

Informatica Sales Director Will Payne: “Informatica is proud to partner with Plante Moran to deliver an end-to-end data management solution with real-time access to trusted data on the California Homeless Data Integration System. As a company’s whose core value is, “Do Good,” we are committed to helping the State of California succeed in its efforts to address homelessness with a data-led approach. Informatica is the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader in all five categories of enterprise data management and our cloud native Data Integration, Data Quality and Master Data Management capabilities will ultimately provide the much-needed “trust,” a single source of truth, the state needs to make the right decisions. Informatica's data integration solutions will ensure clean data and scalable connections to all necessary resources among our HDIS partners.”

Snowflake District Manager-Public Sector West Zach Oxman: “We’re excited to partner with Plante Moran on the HDIS project, providing California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency and CoCs with the power of Snowflake’s Data Cloud for fast, reliable and secure sharing of HDIS data. With Snowflake, data never moves so the state is able to easily share, combine and analyze near real-time data across the HDIS ecosystem on Snowflake’s single, integrated platform. In addition, Snowflake also makes data governance seamless, so the state has the ability to fully govern access to data sets and control who sees what data when.”

AWS U.S. Education, State and Local Government Leader Kim Majerus: “Access to comprehensive data and solutions can play a critical role in preventing and combating homelessness. AWS cloud computing technology can help states make more effective data-driven decisions and more rapidly respond to emerging needs. We are proud to be collaborating with Plante Moran and other AWS customers to help California better understand and serve individuals and families experiencing a homeless crisis in the state.”

Tableau Vice President of Sales, U.S. State & Local Government and Education Graham Stroman: “Homelessness isn’t just a housing, public health or policy issue. It’s also a data issue. Tableau’s self-service analytics platform helps HDIS communities collect and analyze real-time data on people experiencing homelessness to optimize local housing resources, track progress and accelerate the spread of proven strategies.”

Solari Crisis and Human Services Director of HMIS and Database Resources Tyler Rosensteel: “Many communities nationwide are faced with increasingly complex technological challenges when it comes to addressing homelessness through a multi-sector approach. Solutions like the HDIS, built with industry-leading technology, provide a game-changing proposition for community planners and policymakers who want to see a measurable impact in reducing homelessness and addressing the financial and societal impacts of homelessness.”

About Plante Moran

Plante Moran is among the nation's largest accounting, tax, consulting and wealth management firms and provides a full line of business analytics and data management services to private and public sector organizations. Plante Moran has a staff of more than 3,300 professionals throughout the United States with international offices in Shanghai, China; Monterrey, Mexico; Mumbai, India; and Tokyo, Japan. Plante Moran has been recognized by a number of organizations, including FORTUNE magazine, as one of the country's best places to work. For more information, visit plantemoran.com.

About the Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency

The Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency protects consumers by licensing and regulating California professionals and businesses; promotes and funds safe, affordable, and dignified rental and homeownership opportunities; guards the civil rights of all Californians from acts of hate violence and unlawful discrimination; and partners with local communities to prevent and end homelessness. For more information, visit bcsh.ca.gov.

About the Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council

The Homeless Coordinating and Financing Council oversees the implementation of “Housing First” policies, guidelines and regulations and identifies resources, benefits and services to prevent and work toward ending homelessness in California. For more information, visit bcsh.ca.gov/hcfc.

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