New Submission Portal for CoC APRs – Sage – is Opening Soon

On April 1, 2017, Continuum of Care (CoC) Program grant recipients will stop reporting their CoC Program Annual Performance Reports (APRs) in e-snaps and will begin submitting them in Sage HMIS Reporting Repository (Sage). Sage is an online repository that allows greater flexibility to recipients, CoCs, and HUD to report and search CoC Program APR data.

Who Must Submit CoC Program APRs in Sage?

Communities will no longer submit APRs in e-snaps. This change in systems will apply to all CoC homeless assistance grants (e.g., Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, CoC Program) administered by the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) – regardless of when they were initially funded. This includes recipients that submit APRs due to a 15-year or 20-year use restriction.

  • Recipients will be required to upload CSV data from their HMIS to fulfill the APR reporting requirement in Sage. Recipients will not be able to manually enter data about who they served. HUD expects all HMIS softwares and all comparable databases to be able to support this requirement.
  • HMIS Dedicated grant recipients will also have a new APR that will not require a data upload or report generated from the HMIS.
  • For SRO recipients, HUD is changing the reporting requirements. Instead of a full APR, SRO recipients will report basic information about the recipient and its appropriate contact, answer some basic questions, report the total number of persons served, and the total units it funded. More information will be provided in the APR guidebook on what exactly the SRO recipients need to report.
  • HUD will not be updating anything in e-snaps to support APRs for grants funded in FY2015 and later CoC Program Competitions. APRs in process in e-snaps should make every attempt to be completed by March 30, 2017.
  • The reason HUD is requiring all recipients, regardless of funding year, to begin using Sage is because local HMIS softwares are also changing and will no longer support the APR that is submitted in e-snaps beginning in April. Recipients need to contact their HMIS Administrators to find out when exactly this change will occur in their local HMIS. If recipients have an open APR in e-snaps on April 1, 2017 or need to amend an old APR, they need to work with their HMIS Administrator to determine if they are able to report the data about clients for those updates.

When Should Sage Users Create Their Accounts?

In anticipation of these APR reporting changes, HUD has now opened Sage for recipients to create their Sage accounts.

  • Recipients must identify the persons they want to access the Sage portal and have them create an account by going to www.sagehmis.info and entering the contact information and the recipient affiliation (i.e., CoC). HUD is requiring the CoC Primary contact to approve the users for their CoCs. The Primary Contact, who is the person identified by the Collaborative Applicant in the FY2016 CoC Program Registration as the Primary Contact, will be able to designate someone else in their CoC to authorize users but until they do that they will be required to approve all users. HUD is requiring this because CoCs should know which recipients should be reporting and they should also have access to APRs, which has historically been limited. HUD has prepopulated Sage with the contact information of all of the CoC Primary contacts. If the Primary Contact information submitted to HUD via e-snaps is out of date CoCs need to notify HUD immediately via the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal and also update the Applicant Profile in e-snaps. The CoC Primary contact will be notified when a user requests access and the user will be notified when the CoC authorizes that user’s access.

What Training Resources Are Available?

  • HUD will host a webinar on March 16, 2017 at 3:30 PM EDT to provide a basic overview of Sage, demonstrate how to access Sage, and answer questions. You will receive a separate listserv message with registration information.
  • HUD will release a short training video to show users how to create a Sage account next week. We anticipate that it will be ready prior to the webinar.
  • HUD will host another webinar in April to provide more information about using Sage along with other training resources.

This is an exciting change that should make reporting easier for recipients and expand the ability for CoCs to access and use APR data.

HUD’s original email.

HUD Announces New Resource: Video on CoCs and Con Plan Jurisdictions: Collaborating to Reduce Homelessness

The HUD Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) is pleased to announce the release of a new video: CoCs and Con Plan Jurisdictions: Collaborating to Reduce Homelessness. This video focuses on the purpose and benefits of collaboration between Continuums of Care (CoCs) and Con Plan Jurisdictions.

Participants will learn:

  • Collaboration-related responsibilities of CoCs and Con Plan Jurisdictions
  • The significance of coordinated entry, written standards, performance measurement, and strategic resource allocation in facilitating collaboration
  • How collaboration contributes to success in reducing the length and incidence of homelessness

This video targets CoC leadership, as well as Con Plan Jurisdiction staff involved in developing the Consolidated Plan or administering Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funds.

To explore this new training video and other related CoC resources, please visit the CoC Toolkit – CoC Governance and Structure.

View the Marketing Flyer announcing the release of this new video.

Additional CoC Program tools and resources are located on the CoC Program Toolkit Page. Resources are provided in a variety of formats, including online self-paced trainings, broadcasts, podcasts, videos, and presentations.

HUD’s original email.

HMIS User Meeting Reminder

When? February 15th, 2017 from 9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Where? The CASA Training Room (1505 E 17th Street Santa Ana, CA 92705)

If you have any agenda items you would like discussed, please send an email to hmis-helpdesk@211oc.org.

We hope to see you there!

Chronically Homeless Tool Updated!

The Chronically Homeless Determination Tool has been updated to match the new HUD Data Standards. To use the tool, please click here. We appreciate your patience while we completed the updates to the tool, and we hope you continue to find it useful!

As a reminder, 211OC has also created a Family Type Determination Tool, which can be found here.

How often do you use either of these tools? Are there other kinds of tools you would like to see on ochmis.org? Please send your feedback to hmis-helpdesk@211oc.org

Homelessness Data Collection, Reporting Updates, and Deadlines

Data continues to be an important component of making progress towards the goal of ending homelessness. With this increased focus, HUD is working to provide more tools for communities to better assess the quality of their data and provide more data for both national and local data analyses. Your community will need to review the following deadlines and resources to prepare for the Housing Inventory Count (HIC), Point-in-Time (PIT) Count, System Performance Measures (SPM) report, new data quality reporting framework, and Annual Performance Report (APR) requirements.

New Data Quality Resources

HUD expects communities are monitoring data quality on a continuous basis in collaboration with their Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) Lead and end users. To assist with this, HUD recently provided HMIS vendors with detailed instructions on programming tables for a new data quality framework. This framework will form the building blocks of data quality for all systems. Communities will see this data quality framework throughout many HUD reports, including the SPM submission, APR, and future reports.

  • The specifications for the framework have been built into a forthcoming version of the HMIS Standard Reporting Terminology Glossary. Vendors are expected to have completed programming by April 1, 2017.
  • Communities will be able to run all tables in the data quality framework for varying time periods and for individual projects, various projects types, and across the entire Continuum of Care (CoC).
  • HMIS Leads should work with their vendors to determine when they can access this new data quality framework.
  • Once available, HMIS Leads should familiarize themselves with the framework and incorporate it into their Data Quality monitoring plans and processes.
Data Submission Activity Dates
The Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) open for PIT and HIC data submission March 1 – May 1, 2017
New Data Quality Framework available

(HMIS vendors expected to have completed programming of new HUD-approved Data Quality Framework)

April 1, 2017
New APR requirements in effect

(HMIS vendors expected to have completed programming of new report; new submission portal to be activated)

April 1, 2017
HDX open for SPM data submission April 3 – May 31, 2017
  • CoCs: Review the list of timelines and resources. Work with CoC Program recipients and HMIS Leads to prepare for annual and new reporting requirements.
  • HMIS Leads: Work with your vendor to ensure you have access to the necessary reports and materials for your CoC to meet the upcoming deadlines. Communicate regularly with the Continuum and CoC Program recipients to ensure stakeholders are informed and prepared.
  • CoC Program Recipients: Participate in PIT/HIC, monitor your project’s data quality, and prepare for new APR requirements.

APR Updates

Beginning in April 2017, HUD will begin requiring CoC Program grant recipients to submit their APR data through a new online database – the Sage HMIS Reporting Repository (Sage). Communities will no longer submit APRs in e-snaps. This change in systems will apply to all CoC homeless assistance grants (e.g., Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, CoC Program) administered by the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) – regardless of when they were initially funded. The APR has been updated to do the following:

  • Allow CSV imports of aggregate data about persons served;
  • Integrate project-level performance data into the body of the report;
  • Update the data quality components to be consistent with the new HUD-approved Data Quality framework; and
  • Provide programming specifications for population-specific questions, among other updates.

HMIS Leads should work with vendors to access necessary reports and materials in preparation for these APR resources on April 1, 2017. HMIS Leads and CoC Program grant recipients should be working together now to prepare for changes to the APR format and submission process. More details, including training and resources, about the new report and system will be released shortly.

System Performance Measures Updates

For the second year, CoCs will be asked to submit their SPM reports via HDX for the fiscal year 10/1/2015 – 9/30/2016.

  • Based on concerns raised during last year’s data submission process, CoCs will have the opportunity to re-submit their SPM for the period 10/1/2014-9/30/2015. Instructions will be provided in both HDX and data submission guidance about how to accomplish this.
  • A new Data Quality tab has been added to the SPM module in HDX. This tab will require manual data entry of some results from the newly created Data Quality framework.
  • Data submission webinars and System Administrator office hours will be held and announced via separate listserv notices.

Questions?

If you have questions about these reporting requirements, please submit them through the HUD Exchange Ask a Question (AAQ) portal. On Step 2 of the question submission process, select the appropriate report or reporting system in the “My question is related to” dropdown.

To read HUD’s original email, please click here.

UPDATED: Program Entry Questions Page Issues

We are aware of the multiple extra pages on the Program Entry Page, Questions tab, and are working to fix the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience. We will post an update when the tab has been fixed.

The Program Entry Page, Questions tab, is now displaying the correct number of questions and pages.

VA Releases New Grant and Per Diem (GPD) Program NOFA

To continue to meet the evolving needs of homeless Veterans, the VA’s Homeless Providers GPD Program is undergoing a transformation which involves implementing a competitive and time-limited grant process that will require currently funded GPD community providers to reapply for funding so that GPD grantees are located where their services are needed most by homeless Veterans. The GPD program provides nonprofit organizations, state and local government agencies and tribal governments with the resources they need to develop and sustain supportive programs and/or services that help homeless Veterans find stable housing, gain skills to increase their income and achieve independence. The new competitive process will give VA greater flexibility to allocate resources and the agility to respond to evolving best practices for homeless services and programs.

Applications will be rated based on a variety of factors including the extent in which the agency is a part of an ongoing community-wide process and how it is interacting with the local Continuum of Care (CoC). GPD providers have been encouraged to reach out to CoCs and CoCs are equally encouraged to proactively reach out to local GPD providers to discuss how to better integrate their efforts into the CoCs overall efforts to end Veteran homelessness.

For more information regarding the new GPD Program NOFA, please go to: Grant and Per Diem Program page.

Message from VA Secretary Robert McDonald

The VA recently released a video-message from VA Secretary Robert McDonald announcing a concentrated 30-day effort by VA staff and partners to house as many homeless Veterans in their communities as possible. To accomplish this, Secretary McDonald charged VA’s network of federal, local, and nongovernmental partners to target available housing and supportive services to the nation’s most vulnerable Veterans. Some of the actions highlighted included prioritizing unsheltered Veterans for immediate placement into safe housing and organizing homeless stand downs and rapid rehousing events.

For more information on how to help Veterans in your community find permanent housing over the next 30-days, please download this one-page overview of the 30-day surge and contact your local VA medical center to find out about specific needs of homeless Veterans in your community.

To read HUD’s original email, please click here.

HOPWA Quarter 4 and Updated Quarters 1, 2, and 3 Performance Profiles Now Available

HUD has posted HOPWA Performance Profiles for the fourth quarter of the Federal Fiscal Year 2015-2016. An updated set of profiles for the first, second, and third quarters has also been posted with the most current drawdown/balance available.

The Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) performance profiles are generated for all agencies receiving HOPWA formula or competitive grants. Performance Profiles are available at the national level and by individual grantee. In particular, the reports provide a grant summary of beneficiary outcomes data and output data for activity types (housing assistance, housing development, supportive services, housing information services, and administration and management services).

Note – Data collection and validation actions are pending with some reports. A performance profile with no data indicates that the grantee has not submitted its performance report.

To see HUD’s original email, please click here.

PATH-Specific Reporting Guidance on HMIS from SAMHSA and HUD

Last month, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) sent a message to all State Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) Contacts and PATH Providers providing guidance on the PATH Annual Report and alerted PATH contacts to a recent update of the PATH Program HMIS Manual. The entire message is included in this listserv in an effort to make sure all communities receive this updated guidance:

December 22, 2016

Greetings State PATH Contacts (SPCs) and PATH Providers,

SAMHSA and the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) are pleased to announce the release of updated guidance to further enhance efforts to integrate PATH into local Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS).

In November 2013, SAMHSA released the Technical Assistance Plan for PATH Program Participation in HMIS, which describes SAMHSA’s goals for PATH participation in HMIS. SAMHSA expects full PATH participation in HMIS by the end of each state/territory’s fiscal year (FY) 2016. Full participation is considered to mean entering all PATH client data directly into the HMIS designated by the local Continuum of Care (CoC), both for client care coordination and generating the PATH Annual Report.

In addition, SAMHSA expects PATH providers to participate in their local CoC to engage in program planning and implementation activities, discussions regarding effective client service coordination, and discussions to solve issues and challenges related to PATH data collection in HMIS.

The primary resource for PATH-specific guidance on HMIS is the PATH Program HMIS Manual, which was recently updated by HUD. All SPCs and PATH providers should review this resource because it contains information on key topics, including PATH project set-up in HMIS and PATH data collection definitions and expectations. During SAMHSA’s January and February HMIS Learning Community meetings, there will be a brief training on this new resource and the opportunity to ask any questions you may have on the topic.

HUD has also released HMIS Programming Specifications for the New PATH Annual Report. Vendors are required to have the new PATH Annual Report programmed into their HMIS software by April 1, 2017, to ensure PATH providers have sufficient time to generate their FY 2017 Annual Report and any FY 2017 progress reports that they are working to submit to their SPC. SAMHSA understands that this means PATH providers completing their FY 2017 progress reports may not have the data they need in time for the first two quarters of the year. SAMHSA asks that providers complete as much of those reports as they can when they are due and do not submit those reports unless they have all required data from HMIS (meaning that some will not submit progress reports until after April 1, 2017). More guidance on this will also be shared during the January HMIS Learning Community meetings.

SAMHSA will release more information on its HMIS Learning Communities in the coming days and looks forward to convening these again. The PATH HMIS Learning Communities are designed to assist states/territories in achieving these goals and for participants to share successes and challenges related to this transition. Periodic webinars are also offered to present information related to overcoming common challenges associated with PATH programs’ use of HMIS. SAMHSA expects SPCs and PATH providers to both fully participate in all PATH HMIS Learning Community meetings and webinars.

SAMHSA acknowledges that most PATH providers have been able to successfully use HMIS for data collection and reporting efforts but that there are still considerable challenges for many. SAMHSA appreciates all efforts that have been made and will continue to provide support for these efforts through its Homeless and Housing Resource Network (HHRN) team. If you are not familiar with your state’s point of contact (PoC) for HHRN, please review the HHRN contact list for PATH.

Thank you for your dedication to this important work and for your efforts to improve PATH data collection to ensure the continued success of the PATH program.

Sincerely,

Caroline B. Fernandez, M.S.W.
Director, PATH Program
Homeless Programs Branch
Center for Mental Health Services
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

To read HUD’s original email, please click here.

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