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Sustainability HQ: Seizing the Moment to Advance Data for Social Impact

COVID-19 is accelerating nonprofits' work and data science is stepping up to help
July 22, 2020

Getting high-risk homeless individuals out of shelters: During the pandemic, Community Solutions, which helps communities use real-time data to eliminate homelessness, aided organizations in identifying homeless individuals at high risk for COVID-19, such as older individuals or those with underlying conditions, said Roseanne Haggerty, the organization’s president and CEO. That information helped public health agencies move those individuals out of high-risk homeless shelters and into safer quarters.

The power of data helped organize a collective, effective response, Haggerty said. Homelessness has always been life or death for individuals, she said, but COVID-19 has made people realize it’s a public health crisis as well.

The data also allowed communities to identify the racial disparities in COVID-19 cases, and Community Solutions is now turning its attention to disaggregating data by race so communities can continue to better understand the pandemic’s impact on communities of color.