Microsoft, Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness Team Up to Count Connecticut’s Homeless Youth

Technology giant builds app to help CT assess the scope of youth homelessness

January 19, 2017

Connecticut – The Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness is conducting a statewide count of unstably housed and homeless youth (ages 13-24) from January 25 to January 31, and Microsoft is helping. Through an app built by a team at Microsoft and Hartford-based technology services provider Nutmeg Consulting, CCEH volunteers will be able to complete a survey on smartphones with youth facing homelessness. Microsoft and Nutmeg donated their employees’ time to create the app using Microsoft Azure cloud and Xamarin, a new Microsoft product that delivers a native application on Windows, Android, and iOS environments.

Unaccompanied homeless youth are a largely hidden population. Some homeless young people are identified during the annual Point-in-Time Count census of homelessness, but many are missed because they do not access adult emergency shelters or other homeless services. The January 24, 2017 PIT Count will be followed by a week-long effort to count Connecticut’s homeless youth. The count is completed through a largely volunteer team of surveyors across the state. Schools, youth services providers, state agencies, faith-based groups, and youth volunteers will collect the data needed to better understand homelessness and housing instability among youth in Connecticut.

“It really helps us to have an app that can run on any smartphone – it makes it easier for volunteers to participate and support this effort,” said Lisa Tepper Bates, CCEH Executive Director. She noted, as well, that collecting data through the app – rather than through paper forms that require manual data entry – eliminates costly labor and ensures better accuracy.

Connecticut’s 2015 Youth Count indicated that some 3,000 young people were experiencing homelessness in our state. The Department of Housing and Urban Development has announced that 2017 will be used as the baseline year for federal data collection on homeless youth.

To register as a volunteer for the 2017 Youth Count! or Point-in-Time Count, please click here or visit http://cceh.org/volunteer-registration-2017/. For the 2015 Youth Count! Report, please click here. For questions or press related inquiries, please contact Sarah Chess at schess@cceh.org or (860) 721-7876 ext. 116