Montana Homeless Data

Provided by the Montana the Continuum of Care Coalition

Montana Homeless Point-In-Time Surveys

About the Data

The Montana Homeless Survey administered by the Montana Continuum of Care Coalition, local providers of homeless services and many volunteers who canvassed areas where the homeless are often found (points of service such as food banks, transitional housing programs, shelters, streets, parks, campgrounds, etc.). To guard against repeated surveys of the same respondent, the respondent's initials and birthday were used to find potential duplicates.

For homeless individuals who were accompanied by child family members, only the head of household was asked to fill out the survey; except for total population counts, ages, and school enrollment status, data on the accompanying family members are inferred from the head of household's responses.

For more information, contact Bob Buzzas, MT Continuum of Care Coalition, at 406-586-1572.


The Montana Continuum of Care Coalition is grateful to the following sponsors who have supported an annual survey of the homeless since 1999:

• Montana Department of Health and Human Services

• Montana Human Resource Development Councils

• The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

The MT CoC Coalition also thanks Dr. Greg Adams and Nth-Degree Analytics for making this data uniquely accessible and at a discounted cost in order to help bring sound data to bear on important public policies.

Analyzing Survey Data

Analysis Tool for 2015 Onward

The links on the right of this page will take you to each year's survey tool. Starting in 2015, the reporting requirements for accompanying individuals changed, necessitating a change in reporting systems. For the reporting tool used from 2015 onward, there are two tables. The top table provides information on respondents, while the bottom table provides information on accompanying individuals. The tables are linked so that filters applied to respondents are also applied to accompanying individuals. For instance, if the top table filters on only respondents under 25 years old, the bottom table will report only on the individuals accompanying those "under 25" respondents. Similarly, whatever columns chosen for the top (respondent) table will be applied to the bottom (accompanying) table.

Note that filters applied to the accompanying individuals in the bottom table have no impact on the top, respondent table.

Analysis Tool for 2014 and Earlier

Querying data for 2014 and earlier is basically a two step process:

Step 1: Select the type of people to analyze, using the "Restrict Tally" dropdown menu:
Different users of the survey data will want to analyze different subgroups of the data. For instance, many users of the data only want homeless individuals as defined by HUD. The HUD Definition is limited to those who were sleeping on the streets (or other place not meant for human habitation), in an emergency shelter, in a motel paid by a voucher or in a transitional housing program. This is the definition used by the Continuum of Care. Another option is persons who were considered to be homeless by an interviewer, case manager or the respondent him or herself but were in a local jail, treatment facility, hospital, or staying with a friend or family or in a motel for different lengths of time.

Similarly, certain users of the data may want to restrict the population being analyzed to those in certain districts, or of certain ages, genders, or other factors. Use the "Restrict Tally" dropdown menu to add as many restrictions as you want (e.g., females who fit the HUD definition of homeless and were in District 10).

As a general tip, try to limit the number of restrictions to as few as possible. Most users won't need to restrict the data beyond the definition of homeless, the district of the homeless respondents, and perhaps one other factor that would vary depending on a user's needs (e.g., gender, age, education, etc.). Restrictions are of the type "or" within a survey question/item (e.g., gender = "Male" OR "Female") and of the type "and" across items (e.g., gender = "Male" AND district = "10").

Step 2. Choose the survey question you want to see the results for, using the "Select Item to Tally" dropdown menu.

Then hit the "get results" button, and a table with the results will be displayed. From within the table you can click on an icon to show a graph of the results.