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Public Interest – Idaho Policy Institute

Idaho Policy Institute

Making decisions is never easy. And in the current crisis environment, it’s even more of a challenge. How can decision-makers choose the right course of action when there are so many unknowns? It’s tough for all of us.

In this issue of Public Interest, we’ll introduce you to our Idaho Policy Institute. IPI exists to help Idaho decision-makers choose the best, most-informed course of action for the people they serve.

We’ll show you how IPI evaluates services to the homeless and how to better evaluate COVID-19 data models for yourself. And we’ll introduce you to IPI Research Director Vanessa Crossgrove Fry.

It’s not an easy time for anyone. But the School of Public Service and our Idaho Policy Institute are still here. And still working in the public interest.

Thanks for listening. Take care and be well.

Andrew Giacomazzi
Interim Dean, School of Public Service
Boise State University

IPI Evaluates New Path Community Housing

Diana Lachiondo and IPI’s Vanessa Crossgrove Fry (right) at the New Path Community Housing groundbreaking ceremony, 2017. Photo credit: School of Public Service.

A new report by Idaho Policy Institute indicates that New Path Community Housing – a housing-first effort by Ada County and Boise City officials to prevent chronic homelessness – saved taxpayers more than $1 million dollars in 2019

New Path Community Housing is a 40-unit, single site, Housing First project in Ada County, Idaho. New Path’s evidence-based program is designed to address specific issues related to chronic homelessness including high utilization of emergency medical and detox services, frequent contact with the criminal justice system, and compromised overall personal well-being. As program evaluator, Idaho Policy Institute oversees all evaluation activities and works closely with New Path partners to design data collection strategies, monitoring, and reporting for this program.

Read the New Path Housing Evaluation Report on the IPI website

SPS Dean Andrew Giacomazzi interviews IPI's Vanessa Crossgrove Fry

Academics talking academics NOT in elevators

In this special social distancing edition of “Academics Talking Academics in Elevators,” School of Public Service Interim Dean Andy Giacomazzi interviews Vanessa Crossgrove Fry, Idaho Policy Institute Research Director.

Topics include:

  • How IPI is a resource for decision-makers during the current crisis and beyond.
  • What was learned from the recent evaluation of New Path Community Housing.
  • What is “Housing First” and how does it save taxpayers money and produce better outcomes for the homeless community.
  • What projects IPI is working on now.

Read a transcript of this interview

Making Sense of the Data

“These days, from almost all information media sources, we are inundated with articles, data, graphs, and even memes on COVID-19. As we sift through this information, we may ask,

Why are all of these models so different?!? How is it that so many mathematical models of the COVID-19 outbreak can vary so widely? Which ones can we trust? Which ones can we understand?”

IPI Director Greg Hill write about Understanding Data Models in the Blue Review, Boise State’s Journal of Popular Scholarship.

Read it in the Blue Review