Mother and daughter wash the dishes together.

Helping California Administrators Maximize the Impact of Housing Stability Resources

Public Sector Solutions, Children & Families


25Counties participated in workshops on performance management for a public assistance program


Workshops on how to integrate performance into Housing Support Program contracts and oversight processes

Social Finance collaborated with the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) to support administrators and staff managing the agency’s $100 million CalWORKs Housing Support Program (HSP). The California State Legislature created HSP in 2014 to help families experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness find housing stability. However, counties receiving HSP funds had historically struggled to ensure service providers achieved quality outcomes, such as providing sustained housing for people experiencing homelessness. Additionally, data reporting consistency and quality varied from county to county.

The Work

  • Technical assistance training: Organized five, highly tailored technical assistance workshops for HSP administrators, staff, and external service providers from 25 counties to teach them how to integrate performance into HSP contracts and oversight processes by linking payment to human outcomes. Attendees received training on performance metric selection and ongoing performance management, with built-in breakouts, discussions, problem solving sessions, and individual learning moments. CDSS and Social Finance teams led all five workshops, absorbing key learnings and synthesizing reflections, e.g., building a culture of collaboration among HSP providers can lead to improvements in efficiency and consistency.

The Results

  • Workshop attendees agreed on the most promising areas for integrating performance into HSP contracts and operations, such as identifying new metrics that would allow HSP administrators and staff to better understand the client experience and barriers to housing; adapting service provider collaboration strategies to effectively identify service issues and modify delivery; and testing new approaches to achieving outcomes for clients.
  • Social Finance consolidated attendee recommendations into a succinct list of priority recommendations for how CDSS could deepen its support for counties receiving HPS and encourage high-quality services and positive outcomes for California families.


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