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A New California Database Shines A Different Light On Homelessess

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A new California database was recently unveiled, aimed at helping policymakers better understand and address the issue of homelessness.

The Homeless Data Integration System, which includes four years of information and data, shows that nearly 250,000 people sought services last year; of that, 117,000 people are still awaiting help while nearly 92,000 people found housing.

The database will also include demographic information.

This is the first time the information has been collected across California, according to the state's homeless coordinating and financing council.

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The announcement comes two months after a state audit criticized California for an approach so fragmented and incomplete that it possibly hinders efforts to get people into stable housing.

Ali Sutton, deputy secretary of homelessness at the state's Business, Consumer Affairs and Housing Agency, says the new system will help provide more efficient and widespread outreach and resourcing.

“A number of people experiencing homelessness is not static,” she says. “People are becoming homeless and others are being rehoused or permanently housed daily. The system allows us to see that dynamic nature of homelessness in a much clearer way.”