Civic Futures Awards

Ensuring privacy with data around homelessness

City of Austin

Neighborhood Housing

The problem

There was a paucity of geospatial data on people experiencing homelessness which made it difficult to effectively provide services that work to end homelessness.

Solution / Approach

We created a Story Map in ArcGIS Online that combined geospatial data on interactions that City services had with people experiencing homelessness for internal City use. We are now using MapMasq to apply statistical noise to share the map publicly without putting people experiencing homelessness at risk.

Core team
  • Josh Rudow
  • Ted Lehr
  • David Andersen
  • Sarah Rodriguez
  • Taylor Cook
  • Ashley Parsons
  • Allison Hardy
  • Nathan Brigmon
Key advisors
  • Sara Hensley
  • Rosie Truelove
  • Veronica Briseño
What can make it sustainable?

It is fundamental that the data connected to the map is automatically updated and that there are clear data standards.

Advice to others

Be conservative with estimates on how long a project will take. New projects that involve collaboration and innovative ways of doing business can take significant time to implement.