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New efforts could better target eviction prevention in Hamilton County

Hamilton County eviction prevention agencies are teaming together to create comprehensive datasets about local services.
Vyacheslav Dumchev
Hamilton County eviction prevention agencies are teaming together to create comprehensive datasets about local services.

Eviction and homeless prevention agencies in Hamilton County could soon have data to better serve those in need and help officials understand what works when it comes to preventing evictions.

Kevin Finn, CEO at Strategies to End Homelessness, says an effort to gather data among major service providers such as the Talbert House, Society of St. Vincent DePaul, and Hamilton County Job and Family Services, has never been done before, even though all the agencies keep the data on-hand.

As of about two weeks ago, that changed. Organizations are not submitting their data to Strategies to End Homelessness, which has a multi-year partnership with data analytics company 84.51°, which is providing services pro-bono and ensuring the data is properly logged and interpreted.

Finn says the new information could help identify risk factors for eviction and homelessness. For instance, it's already documented that single parent households are more at-risk of eviction.

"We could identify other risk factors that are perhaps not as obvious as something like being a single parent household," Finn said. "Are there age factors? Are there disability factors? Are there racial factors? Are there other things that play into certain households being more likely of becoming homeless in the future than others?"

He also says the new datasets could be used to find out who ends up homeless, despite reaching out for eviction prevention help.

"If we can identify who is most likely to become homeless, we can target prevention resources toward them so that they do not become homeless," he said.

It's too soon to analyze the data, but Finn says more information will be available in the coming months.

Jolene Almendarez is the granddaughter of Mexican immigrants who came to San Antonio in the 1960s. She was raised in a military family and has always called the city home. She studied journalism at San Antonio College and earned a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Public Communications from the University of Alaska Anchorage. She's been a reporter in San Antonio and Castroville, Texas, and in Syracuse and Ithaca, New York.