The Roadmap Initiative

Illustration of Roadmap Initiative elements: journey mapping, systems mapping, and data linkingSystem strategies for “high utilizers”

Policy experts have long talked about stopping the cycle of homelessness, justice involvement, and emergency room visits. Recently, we seized the chance to do something about it. Working with TASC and Mercy Housing Lakefront, we convened an ambitious initiative to map the way that these systems mesh at the ground level. The project creates a strong framework for investment and policy and practice priorities across the health, housing, and justice sectors.

Termed the “Road Map Initiative,” this cross-system collaboration addresses persistent issues that do not fit neatly within the bounds of specific agencies. These include: high utilizers of public systems, lack of affordable housing, and poor outcomes resulting in high costs. We’re looking across sectors to ask: How are people moving through these systems? What are their lived experiences? Where are they falling through the cracks? Our goal is to create a framework for prioritizing policy and practice, better align fragmented public systems, and spark smart investments in human services.

This work is made possible through generous support of an anonymous foundation and the Chicago Community Trust. Lead partners collaborating on this project include Safer Foundation, the University of Illinois Hospital and Health Sciences System, Sinai Health System, Conlon & Dunn Public Strategies, the Women’s Justice Institute, and Urban Labs at the University of Chicago. The Data Advisory Council includes the Illinois Department of Public Health, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, All Chicago, and Urban Labs.

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