All Systems Go for Rhode Island Registry Week!

By Jana Foxe –

The HOPE crew is gearing up for our first big event of the year: Rhode Island Registry Week! We’ve been planning this event in coalition with our friends and community partners at the Rhode Island Coalition for the homeless. In this post, we explain in detail the Registry Week, and how you (yes, YOU!) can get involved.

What is RI Registry Week, and when is it?

RI Registry Week takes place from November 10-12 and is the first phase of the broader, nationwide Zero 2016 campaign’s implementation here in the state of Rhode Island. It involves compiling an accurate registry of people living in our shelters using the VI-SPDAT ‘supertool’ and on our streets, enabling us to prioritize the most vulnerable people for affordable housing solutions. Once the community has this data, not only can we move towards giving people adequate and appropriate housing solution, but we can also make more targeted advocacy efforts once we know more data about who is homeless and why. With the data we acquire from the VI-SPDAT tool, we can lobby our representatives and state bodies for more appropriate resources to end chronic and veterans’ homelessness, making ‘Zero by 2016’ a reality.

What is the VI-SPDAT ‘supertool’?

The acronym VI-SPDAT stands for ‘Vulnerability Index-Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool’ – it is basically a survey that has two functions. The first function is the ‘SPDAT’, or the survey itself. It is a an intake and case management tool designed by OrgCode Consulting and involves questions that are specifically-ordered and specifically worded, based on a significant amounts of social science data. The second function is the ‘VI’, or ‘Vulnerability Index’, which is the ‘score’ allocated to a person who completes the VI-SPDAT survey, based on the answers they provide. The VI was developed by Community Solutions, has been used in communities all over the country, and is based on leading medical research. A high score on the VI indicates that a person is significantly vulnerable, and therefore ought to be prioritized for affordable housing, and we determine that score, by getting people we encounter during Registry Week to complete the SPDAT, or the survey. For more information on VI-SPDAT, check out

Who’s getting involved?

The RI Coalition for the Homeless is looking to get as many people as possible from all walks of life involved. At HOPE, we’re doing everything that we can to get as many student and academic groups, faculty, administrative staff, etc. from our campus organized and trained to head out and join the count. Several HOPEsters are getting trained to lead on campus trainings, which will be offered at 5pm each day of the Registry Week (November 10-12). The HOPE Events and Advocacy Committees have been working hard on recruitment efforts to get people informed about Registry Week and its importance for the community and the fight against homelessness as a whole.

We need you!

The HOPE team is looking for enthusiastic volunteers from all over Brown’s campus – undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, administrative staff, alumni, absolutely anyone from our community is welcome. You don’t need any experience in case management, or any kind of community service work whatsoever. All you need is the enthusiasm and the time to be trained and to come out with us and join the registry effort!

In order to participate, you MUST first register with the RI Coalition for the Homeless, by filling out this form. They will get back to you with some information about training dates in the community, but we also have the following training dates to offer:


Sunday, November 09 – 3pm

Monday, November 10 – 5pm

Tuesday, November 11 – 5pm

Wednesday, November 12 – 5pm


All trainings will last under 1 hour, and will be held in the Swearer Center for Public Service, on 25 George Street.

Questions or queries? Get in touch with the leadership team!

Check out the event on Facebook!

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