Common Ground works to end homelessness, developing supportive housing in New York City and shaping other solutions to homelessness. The Brownsville Partnership is a homelessness prevention initiative in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn. Using a collection of community development and outreach strategies, the Brownsville Partnership works to lift people out of poverty by strengthening community networks and addressing the conditions that produce homelessness in the first place.

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Mapping Data for Operations and Research

Bennett Midland worked with Common Ground’s Department of Research and Evaluation to help leverage its rich data environment to support in-depth operational research. Our team developed a data dictionary for each of Common Ground’s databases, fully defining each of the organization’s data sources from both the technical and functional perspective, in order to serve as an operations and research reference guide. This project also laid the groundwork for future database modifications and enhancements, and promoted the administration of effective and timely research at Common Ground.

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Measuring Performance

Common Ground engaged Bennett Midland to devise a framework for performance measurement for the Brownsville Partnership so that it could monitor progress toward reaching and sustaining its ambitious programmatic goals. We worked with the Brownsville Partnership leadership and partner organizations to establish a comprehensive set of performance standards, and developed a systematic approach to ongoing data collection and reporting. With the framework in place, we produced a comprehensive Performance Management Report for 2008. This report provided helpful insights to managers about organizational performance, and serves as a model for future reports for ongoing performance management.

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Sharing Information

Brownsville Partnership engaged Bennett Midland to develop an approach to share essential data among its community partners. We designed an information system—the BP Index—to keep track of all Partnership clients and to coordinate service referrals among partners, while keeping intact the existing case management systems that various partners already use. The BP Index records and tracks activities and outcomes of Brownsville Partnership programs, and provides reporting tools to support effective oversight of the initiative as a whole.

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