We are rolling out HIFIS at The Lighthouse. HIFIS is short for the Homeless Individuals and Families Information System and is a Government of Canada database designed to help us understand our population better. It tracks how long individuals are here but more importantly allows us to keep track of where they are going (to an apartment, another shelter, or in some cases to the streets). While any software that is designed by the Government of Canada is going to be a little clunky, it’s easy enough for any of our staff to use and input information to.
While The Lighthouse is actually one facility, it is several different programs/shelters
- Men’s Emergency Shelter
- Men’s Overflow Mat Program
- Women’s Emergency Shelter
- Women’s Emergency Respite Room (for women suffering from illness or victims of domestic violence)
- Complex Needs Wing
- Complex Needs Respite Room
- Supported Living Suites
- Affordable Housing Apartments
All of those areas are tracked independently to ensure that we can understand what is going on internally but also so our funding agencies and other partners can see what is happening across the shelter.
The information in it is anonymously shared with some outside reporting agencies but we give that information in PDF format which means that we can be sure that no identifying information is ever released. While the software is really useful internally, it also contributes to solving homelessness across the country by providing the Government of Saskatchewan and the Government of Canada with reliable and quality statistical analysis of what is happening at The Lighthouse.