MHSA's New Triage and Assessment Tool Proven to Predict Emergency Service Utilization

November 22, 2017

For more information, contact:
Meg Hoffman,, 617-367-6447 x28

Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance’s (MHSA) New Triage and Assessment Tool Proven to Predict Emergency Service Utilization

This innovative tool incorporates data to further MHSA’s mission to
end homelessness in Massachusetts

BOSTON – Mathematica Policy Research has released a new study that demonstrates how the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance (MHSA) is developing Housing First best practices through a triage and assessment tool. The tool identifies and targets homeless high utilizers of emergency services through a triage score. MHSA provides this score to its statewide Pay for Success providers to prioritize placing individuals into housing as units become available. This improves targeting of resources to the neediest and most vulnerable in the homeless population.

 "...our study findings suggest that [MHSA's] triage and assessment tool is successfully attempting to allocate scarce resources by effectively identifying chronically homeless people who will be frequent users of emergency health services if they remain homeless," said James Mabli, Associate Director at Mathematica.

“The Mathematica study confirmed our own beliefs that this is an effective tool in triaging chronically homeless persons into housing. We look forward to advocating for and perhaps creating additional housing opportunities to meet the needs of all those requiring permanent supportive housing,” said Joe Finn, President & Executive Director of the Massachusetts Housing & Shelter Alliance.

Media interested in covering this release are encouraged to contact Meg Hoffman at or 617-367-6447 x18. For more information, please visit