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Homeless System Performance

Washington State Homeless System Performance Reports provide information on critical homeless system performance measures including several of the HEARTH Homeless System Performance Measures using the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s reporting specifications. The Homeless System Performance Reports also provide other contextual information about a community’s homeless crisis response system.

Performance measures help evaluate the effectiveness of homeless crisis response systems as they work to ensure that homelessness is rare, brief and one time. The Department of Commerce has identified the following as the most critical homeless system performance measures:

  • Prioritizing unsheltered homeless households
  • Increasing exits to permanent housing
  • Reducing returns to homelessness
  • Reducing the length of time homeless
Web-based public portal provides one-stop information on homelessness assistance, spending, and performance:!/
For more information on the homeless system performance measures that Commerce reports or requires please review this document: Homeless System Performance Measures Crosswalk (PDF)

Washington State Homeless System Performance Reports

Published annually, the County Report Card and Year to Year Comparison provide performance outcome results for Washington State as a whole, and for each County.  Data from all homeless housing projects that participate in HMIS are included in these reports.

Washington State Homeless System Performance Reports are available on Tableau. Tableau does not support versions 8, 9, and 10 of Internet Explorer. If you have problems viewing the reports try using Chrome, Safari, or Firefox browsers.

The County Report Card

Map of Washington State CountiesThe County Report Card provides information for the state and each county on system-wide performance measures including exits to permanent housing, returns to homelessness, length of time homeless, and cost per exit to permanent housing. The County Report Card is embedded in an interactive map, which allows you to review performance outcome results for the reporting period. Click on the Trend Data button to access an interactive table that allows you to see trends over time. It also includes contextual information such as PIT Count results and rental vacancy rates.


Published quarterly, project-type specific dashboards provide performance outcome results for counties as a whole, for each agency, and each project.  At this time, only counties that are included in the Balance of State Continuum of Care are included in project-type dashboards.

The purpose of the Homeless System Performance Reports is to promote evidence-based housing interventions that efficiently move people experiencing homelessness into permanent destinations and to improve county data reporting. These system goals are outlined in the Homeless Housing Strategic Plan.

Additionally, these reports provide communities with information regarding their progress towards locally established performance benchmarks.

Because each community has established performance benchmarks using local baseline data, it is not appropriate to compare the performance outcomes of different counties.

Data Gathering: People experiencing homelessness give information to homeless housing service providers. Data Entry: Homeless housing service providers collect and input data in HMIS and other reporting tools. Data Analytics: Commerce collects, organizes, and analyzes state-wide data from HMIS and other reporting tools. Data Visualizations and Reporting: Commerce creates reports and data visualizations. Data Clean Up: Commerce and homeless housing providers work together to improve data quality.

Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is the data source for most of the information used in our performance reports. HMIS is used by homeless housing service providers to collect and manage data gathered during the course of providing housing assistance to people experiencing homelessness.

Other Sources

Annual County Expenditure Report (The Golden)

Each county in Washington State reports all expenditures by funding sources for each homeless housing projects in their community. Commerce combines expenditures data with HMIS data to create The Golden Report which can be found on the State Strategic Plan, Annual Report and Audits page.

Annual Point-In-Time Count (PIT)

Each county in Washington State conducts an annual point-in-time count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons. The census is conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The PIT Count takes place in January.

For detailed information about HEARTH Homeless System Performance Measures, please refer to the HUD reporting specifications and HUD CoC performance training videos.

National research from SPARC shows that people of color are dramatically more likely than White people to experience homelessness. The Washington Equity Analysis Tool compares the Point in Time Count to American Community Survey data to help communities analyze racial disparities among people experiencing homelessness. The Washington Equity Analysis Tool is based on HUD’s CoC Analysis Tool.

Washington Equity Analysis Tool
Note: You will need to click the Download button in order to view and use this tool.

The Washington Balance of State Equity Analysis Dashboard looks at racial and ethnic disparities in the homeless system from entry to exit. It uses a rate of entry that normalizes the subpopulations and also provides additional performance indicators with the ability to drill down at the county or regional level.

Equity Analysis Dashboard (web)