As of January 2015, the Big Bend Continuum of Care has adopted the use of the VI-SPDAT (The Vulnerability Index – Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool) to use as our community’s coordinated intake and assessment tool. The VI-SPDAT is a pre-screening, or triage tool that is designed to be used by all providers within a community to quickly assess the health and social needs of homeless persons and match them with the most appropriate support and housing interventions that are available.
This tool is comprised of questions pertaining to 4 areas of the clients life:
History of Housing and Homelessness
Risks; risk of harm to self or others, involvement in high-risk and/or exploitative situations, interactions with emergency services, legal issues, managing tenancy
Socialization and Daily Functions; self-care and daily living skills, personal administration and money management, meaningful daily activities, social relations and networks
Wellness; mental health and wellness and cognitive functioning, physical health and wellness, medication, substance use, experience of abuse and/or trauma
After a caseworker has completed a VI-SPDAT on a client, it is then entered into HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) and scored to determine which intervention is best for the client. Many agencies and partners providing services and housing are part of the system and can send and receive referrals for clients within the system to quickly place them in the most appropriate housing intervention including rapid re-housing, transitional housing, permanent supportive housing, etc.