New Jersey Health Initiatives - A Better State of Health
A Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Program
VI-SPA What?? Tools for meeting the greatest needs in Atlantic City
July 1, 2019 / AC Collaborative
The role of the VI-SPDAT on Housing Placement, from Smart Path to Housing and Health. Click image to download a one-page overview with this graphic.

Recently several members in the AC Collaborative participated in a Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) training. The training provided insight into how our community can, and in some cases already does, prioritize individuals for housing placement. Just like an emergency room would triage individuals for care based on the severity of their symptoms, the VI-SPDAT is a tool that allows social service agencies to assess the severity or vulnerability of an individual or family. This tool then computes a vulnerability score, which many communities use to prioritize those who are deemed the most vulnerable, as they assess who should be “next” on any sort of housing waiting lists that may exist. The training provided the participating agencies information about the tool, and the education necessary to administer the tool.

If we are all utilizing the same tool to determine vulnerability the same way, and placing those in greatest need at the top of our community’s master list, we can be sure that we are implementing a system of care that supports those most fragile.

The Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (VI-SPDAT) was developed in 2011 to assist health and human services personnel in identifying the right support for specific needs of community members who are homeless. Read how one community is using the resource.

Our premise is, if we are all utilizing the same tool to determine vulnerability the same way, and placing those in greatest need at the top of our community’s master list, we can be sure that we are implementing a system of care that supports those most fragile.

Thanks to the AC Rescue Mission, Covenant House, and Jewish Family Services for participating.  Once these agencies have this tool turned on in our Homeless Information Management System (HIMS), this will bring our total to four agencies using a data-driven approach to address needs in our community.

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Project
Author
Samantha Kiley
Organization
AtlantiCare Foundation