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Gage East: Using Evaluation to Support Innovation in Housing

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When a community wants to develop new services for homeless youth and young families, what is really involved? Olmsted County and Center City Housing Corporation set out to fully explore this question as collaborators. Beginning in 2012, they identified the necessary components to a successful service: who to serve, where the housing services will be, how it will be funded over time, and who else would be good partners in this effort. Yet, to do this effectively, there were many questions yet to be answered that required a collaborative, continuous approach. The Future Services Institute (FSI) at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs worked with Olmsted County Community Services, Center City Housing Corporation and other partners, using a developmental evaluation design to help them frame the project, track its development, identify issues as they surface, and test quick iterations in problem solving.