Hyperion is a software product that helps organizations conduct the annual Point in Time (PIT) count. The PIT count is a “census” of the US population experiencing homelessness. It’s conducted during the last week of January, across the country, by about 400 regional organizations.
Each organization (typically a non-profit) assembles a team of volunteers (generally hundreds) to go out to encampments, under bridges, and anywhere else our most vulnerable might be staying. These volunteers, with a clipboard in one hand and an incentive in the other (socks, a bus pass, etc) look to ask those experiencing homelessness a number of questions. They’re looking for demographic information to report to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other information these organizations need to better understand homeless so they can bring it to an end.
Hyperion helps with the PIT count. It digitizes the clipboard, allowing for finer control over a complex questioning process. Follow-up questions appear when relevant and don’t otherwise. In certain situations the survey ends early, prompting the volunteer to move on. Because the data is captured digitally, there’s no chance that a form goes missing, or that poor handwriting renders it useless.
During the count, Hyperion provides a map that administrators can use to see, in real time, where data is being collected and where it’s not. Because the volunteer’s contact information is attached to each submission, a coordinator can reach out if they see something going wrong.
After the count, Hyperion helps the organizations clean the data quickly, to remove duplicates and invalid entries. It then automatically calculates all the numbers these organizations need to report to HUD.
It’s a niche product that’s only used for one part of the year, but it saves these organizations hundreds of hours of time (hours of tedious data entry) and empowers them to do what’s impossible otherwise (with the precise location data captured with each submission, they can follow-up with individuals after the PIT count to offer support).