Departmental Papers (SPP)

Document Type

Book Chapter

Date of this Version

January 1997


This article outlines a policy research agenda based on the analysis of administrative data. Computerized records of client characteristics and their related shelter utilization patterns offer researchers a rich source of longitudinal data that makes possible a wide range of investigations and can be analyzed by using an array of multivariate statistical tools. Specifically, this article discusses the contributions administrative data can make to (1) enumerating and determining the characteristics of the homeless population, (2) understanding the effect of homelessness on related public systems, (3) gauging the effect of policy interventions on the use of homeless services, (4) evaluating the effectiveness of system-level delivery of homeless services, and (5) measuring the performance of individual homeless service providers.

The article concludes by commenting on several issues that policy makers might consider regarding the implementation of automated information systems among homeless service providers.


© Fannie Mae Foundation 1997. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted from Understanding Homelessness: New Policy and Research Perspectives, edited by Dennis P. Culhane and Steven B. Fornburg, (Fannie Mae Foundation, 1997).
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Date Posted: 30 August 2007