Lying With Statistics

Brian Roccapriore, Director of HMIS and Strategic Analysis at the CT Coalition to End Homelessness, understands that his job title is a mouthful. But then again, so is the fight to end homelessness in Connecticut. As Roccapriore says, there are “1000 different ways to explain about what homelessness looks like in Connecticut, and the definition of homeless changes from federal project to federal project.”

While homelessness may be hard to define, Roccapriore also warns about relying on statistics to prove a point about the subject. As he calls it, “lying with statistics” is easily maneuvered, but with the right questions directed in as succinct a manner as possible, we can uncover more truths and facts about homelessness right in our own communities. According to Mr. Roccapriore, “there’s more coordination across systems to make communicating about homelessness better, and there is also more political will to do so.”

In terms of the near future, Roccapriore informs us that the “way that we collect methodology on what a disabling condition is will change this year. The numbers will change, and we will have a more accurate way at getting at that information.”

By: Maureen Smith

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