- The survey itself is voluntary
- This specific question is a voluntary, self-selected answer
- Depending on its place in the survey order, it may not be asked before the participant elects to end the conversation
- The participant needs to trust the surveyor; without trust little information can be collected.
Given the flaws of the Point-In-Time Survey that several of our sources identify, I am reluctant to share HUD’s rosy estimate of the progress that has been made. I agree that the data from multiple sources supports the conclusion that we have made at least some steps in the right direction; the question remains of how large those steps have been. I say that not to be pessimistic about our progress, but to make sure we complete the race before we celebrate its end. If data points are used to judge success or failure of our agencies we need to know as informed citizens the nature of that data.
The data collection challenge is a reoccurring theme across all topics and demographics of homelessness. It is worth describing in each blog as it affects each group uniquely. One uniform opinion across data sources is that the true number of homeless veterans is more than likely higher than the estimate. Much work remains to be accomplished with this important population. Considering their sacrifice, our Veterans and their families remain our heroes long after they retire their uniforms. I look forward to our next discussion about this important topic.
Originally posted on March 29, 2014 on Act Locally Waco Blog.