Message From HUD on World AIDS Day 2017

On November 1st, 211OC held an HIV/AIDS Sensitivity training hosted by the AIDS Services Foundation. The content of this training will eventually become an optional training that HMIS Users can complete on our training site. Please check out today’s message from HUD on World AIDS Day 2017!

On behalf of the teams in the Offices of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) and HIV/AIDS Housing (OHH), we wanted to take a moment to commemorate World AIDS Day 2017, and highlight how critical safe, stable housing is for the health and well-being of persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Countries around the globe observe World AIDS Day annually on December 1. It provides an opportunity for all of us to come together in the fight against HIV/AIDS, stand in solidarity with PLWHA, and remember those who have died.

Access to safe, stable housing has been a major issue facing PLWHA since the beginning of the epidemic. It is estimated that approximately half of the 1.2 million PLWHA in the U.S. will experience homelessness or housing instability at some point following their diagnosis. Economic disadvantages, episodes of poor health, and co-occurring substance use and mental health needs often make it difficult for many PLWHA to secure or maintain housing. HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination add additional barriers to accessing and maintaining housing.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported earlier this week on HIV testing in the U.S. According to this report, nearly 40,000 Americans received an HIV diagnosis in 2015, and 1 out of 2 of them had already been living with HIV for more than 3 years before being diagnosed. 1 out of 4 had been living with the virus for 7 years or longer. For Americans experiencing homelessness and poverty, ensuring access to HIV testing and services is critical in ending the HIV epidemic in our country.

According to the CDC, black, gay, and bisexual men are more impacted by HIV than any other group in the U.S. Stigma, homophobia, and discrimination put gay and bisexual men at risk for many physical ailments and mental health issues, and can affect whether they seek and receive health services, including HIV testing, treatment, and other prevention services. In addition, transgender women are at high risk for HIV. Per the U.S. Transgender Survey, 19.0% of black transgender women were living with HIV in 2015, 60 times the rate of HIV infection in the general U.S. population (0.3%). Many transgender people face stigma, discrimination, social rejection, and exclusion that prevents them from accessing health care, education, employment, and housing. These factors affect health and well-being and increase the risk of acquiring HIV.

We know that homelessness and housing instability are directly linked to poor health outcomes for PLWHA. PLWHA who lack stable housing are more likely to delay or drop out of HIV care and less likely to receive HIV medications than PLWHA who are stably housed. For homeless and unstably housed PLWHA, evidence suggests that housing assistance is an effective HIV health and public health intervention. Over time, receipt of housing assistance has been found to be among the strongest predictors of accessing and maintaining HIV medical care. Housing interventions improve stability and connection to care for PLWHA by providing an essential foundation for participation in lifesaving HIV care and treatment. When PLWHA participate in medical care and take medications as prescribed, they can achieve viral suppression, meaning the amount of HIV virus in the blood is reduced to a very low level.  By achieving viral suppression, PLWHA can stay healthy, live longer, and effectively eliminate the risk of sexually transmitting HIV to a partner.

All levels of government, as well as private entities, play an important role in preventing and ending homelessness for PLWHA, and our partnerships help to maximize all available resources. We encourage providers receiving funding from various HUD programs (e.g. Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS, Continuum of Care, and Emergency Solutions Grants) and non-HUD programs to continue strengthening local partnerships to better prevent and end homelessness for PLWHA in their communities. Local partners should work to better identify homeless and unstably housed PLWHA and link them to appropriate housing resources, medical care, and other services.

SNAPS and OHH will continue to identify opportunities for cross-program messaging, guidance, and technical assistance as we stay focused on our core mission of ensuring that those who are some of the most vulnerable in our nation – individuals and families experiencing homelessness and those living with HIV/AIDS – are served by programs with the best outcomes and highest standards of service.

Thank you,

 

Norm Suchar
Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs

Rita Flegel
Director, Office of HIV/AIDS Housing

November 30th: Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness

The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) KSOC-TV, a web-based technical assistance program featuring behavioral health experts discussing cutting edge issues in children’s mental health, is holding an interactive webisode:

Addressing the Mental Health Needs of Children, Youth, and Families Experiencing Homelessness
Thursday, November 30, 2017
2:00 – 3:00 PM EST
Join the webinar on November 30th.

The live panel discussion will be moderated by Gary Blau, Chief, Child Adolescent and Family Branch, Center for Mental Health Services, SAMHSA.

Panelists will include:

  • SAMHSA Representative: Luis Vasquez, Director, Division of Service and Systems Improvement, SAMHSA
  • Research Expert: Sarah C. Narendorf, Assistant Professor of Social Work, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston
  • Youth Leader with Lived Experience: Dani Dominguez, Community Education Coordinator, YES Institute

Members of the audience will be invited to ask questions of a panel of experts via phone, a Mediasite, or through Twitter using the hashtag #KSOCTV. Mark your calendars and join the live Q&A.

Reactivating HMIS Enrollments

Adsystech has told 211OC that they will begin reactivating enrollments that HMIS Staff forwards to them. To have your reactivation request completed, you must submit a completed version of this spreadsheet (link will open as an Excel download) to the HMIS Help Desk.

Please list all reactivation requests by household as shown on the spreadsheet. Remember that reactivating the head of household DOES NOT reactivate the entire household. All clients must be listed if you need their enrollment reactivated.

NOTE: You MUST include the client’s exit date in this spreadsheet when you submit it to the HMIS Help Desk. Adsystech’s reactivation WILL DELETE ALL EXIT DATES FROM REACTIVATED ENROLLMENTS. This data will NO LONGER EXIST in HMIS upon reactivation. You will need to enter the client’s exit date after you have completed your corrections and proceed to exit them again. It is extremely important that you include the client’s exit date in the spreadsheet so that you have a copy of it to enter into HMIS upon exit. Any spreadsheets that do not contain exit dates will not be forwarded to Adsystech to avoid the loss of exit date data.

Since Adsystech requires the first and last names of all enrollments you must password protect the spreadsheet (click link for instructions on password protecting an Excel file and only follow the instructions under the heading “Encrypt an Excel file”) that you send to the HMIS Help Desk and call the HMIS Help Desk at 714-589-2360 to give us the password. Please do not call individual HMIS Staff members with passwords. Tickets entered to the HMIS Help Desk with a spreadsheet that is not password protected will receive an auto-response letting you know that you sent unencrypted personal identifying data and the ticket will be deleted to protect client privacy.

Thank you very much for your patience during this time

Last Chance to Complete the HMIS User Suggestion Box

We have received wonderful feedback in our HMIS User Suggestion Box!  We still would like to hear from all of our users before we analyze and implement your feedback to improve the HMIS experience.

If you haven’t already done so, please complete the survey so we can hear your thoughts on communications and trainings from the 211OC HMIS team.  This includes your thoughts about the implementation of version 6.  The survey will only take about 5 minutes and is extremely helpful for us as we move forward.

AIDS Sensitivity Training November 1st

211OC will host a FREE AIDS Sensitivity Training for all Orange County homeless service providers on Wednesday, November 1st.  Representatives from the AIDS Services Foundation will conduct the training which will consist of a presentation and Q&A session.

Where? CASA Training Room (Upstairs) 1505 E 17th. St Santa Ana, CA
When? Wednesday, 11/01/17, from 2PM to 4PM.

We are hoping at least one representative from each of our agencies can attend this important training.  We hope that it will help us serve this marginalized population better!

According to the National Coalition for the HomelessHIV/AIDS and homelessness are intricately related.  The costs of health care and medications for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are often too high for people to keep up with.  In addition, PLWHA are in danger of losing their jobs due to discrimination or as a result of frequent health-related absences.  As a result, up to 50% of PLWHA in the United States are at risk of becoming homeless.

There is no need to RSVP for this event, please just show up ready to learn!

PSDEs No Longer Required For Non-Federally Funded Projects

Due to changes in the recently released 2017 HMIS Data Standards, Program Specific Data Elements are no longer required for projects that do not receive federal funding (i.e., CoC, ESG, SSVF, RHY, HOPWA, VASH, or PATH). As a result, the HUD Assessment used at entry in Version 6 of HMIS will only appear for projects that receive federal funding. Non-federally funded projects are only required to answer the CoC Assessment at entry, which contains Universal Data Elements that all projects are still required to collect.

We are still working with Adsystech to make the Exit Question assessments visible for all projects.Once available, this assessment will not contain any Program Specific Data Elements for any non-federally funded projects.

If you have any questions about this change, please submit a ticket to the Help Desk.

Sage Guidance for ESG Recipients and Subrecipients Webinars

HUD will host training webinars on SAGE, the ESG repository, for ESG recipients and subrecipients on Monday, October 16th and Thursday, October 19th, respectively.  Please look below for meeting details including the agenda and registration links.

 

ESG Recipient Webinar

HUD will train ESG recipients (jurisdictions that receive an ESG award directly from HUD) on October 16, 2017 from 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EDT.

The webinar will review:

  • How to register for Sage
  • How to navigate Sage
  • How to upload the ESG CAPER report
  • Data flow from HMIS to Sage
  • Data entry in the eCon Planning Suite
  • Coordination with subrecipients

Register: Access the registration page using the link below and then select Register Now on the right side of the page:

Sage Guidance for ESG Recipients Webinar

 

ESG Subrecipient Webinar

HUD will train ESG Subrecipients (homeless providers that receive ESG funding from a jurisdiction (State, Territory, County or City) on October 19, 2017 from 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM EDT.

The webinar will review:

  • How to upload the ESG CAPER report
  • Data flow from HMIS to Sage
  • Common data errors and how to resolve them

Register: Access the registration page using the link and then select Register Now on the right side of the page: Sage Guidance for ESG Subrecipients Webinar

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