Data Matters February 2015

Data Matters
February 2015
News CoC Program NOFA Update
On January 26, 2015, the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced the Continuum of Care (CoC) grants awards. Thanks to the successful partnerships and the hard work of the agencies, all the projects in the CoC Application were funded! Orange County was awarded $19,526,012. This includes $2,546,828 for a competitive Bonus Project and represents new funding to our community.The HUD link provides details related to all projects that were submitted in the 2014 national grant competition.  To view a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding, please click here.
February HMIS User Meeting Reminder
Reminder: The next quarterly HMIS User meeting is scheduled for February 18, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 am at the Casa Training Room. To view the agenda and location details click here. See you there.
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Recording Health Insurance in HMIS
A question was submitted to HUD requesting clarification on how to differentiate between Medi-Cal (State Health Insurance for Adults) and Medicaid when entering a client’s health insurance into HMIS. According to HUD, “IF the client has Medi-Cal and they indicate that it is the state’s version, then the response option “state health insurance for adults.” IF they indicate they are receiving Medicaid, then that option should be selected.” Based on HUD’s response, we have submitted a ticket to the vendor to change the label from State Health Insurance for Adults to Medi-Cal.

To view the question we submitted to HUD and their response, click here.

Did You Know…?
Some users are incorrectly answering the Prior Living Situation question ‘Other’, which is causing some data quality issues. For example, if a client stated their prior living situation was “received a motel voucher” then the correct response should be emergency shelter. Please see the table below with some of the most common ‘other’ responses provided, and the appropriate response to be entered into HMIS. To learn more on how to identify the type of residence and length of stay at that residence just prior to project entry, please review the 2014 HMIS Data Standards, Universal Data Element 3.9 Residence Prior to Project Entry. To verify your agency’s ‘Other Residence Prior’ Data quality, please run the Universal Data Elements report.

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Other Prior Residence Response   Appropriate Response in HMIS
Apartment, Living in a Permanent House Rental by client, no ongoing housing subsidy
Camper, Car, RV, Truck, Place Note Meant for Habitation, Not Meant for Habitation Place not meant for habitation (e.g., a vehicle, an abandoned building, bus/train/subway station/airport or anywhere outside)
Jail Jail, prison or juvenile detention facility
Motel Paid with a Voucher Emergency shelter, including hotel or motel paid for with emergency shelter voucher
Transitional Housing Transitional housing for homeless persons (including homeless youth)
Living with Family Staying or living in a family member’s room, apartment or house
Sober Living Substance abuse treatment facility or detox center
Assisted Living Long-term care facility or nursing home
Pastors home Staying or living in a friend’s room, apartment or house

AHAR Update
211OC recently heard from HUD that all reporting categories have been marked as useable in the 2014 AHAR! We thank all of the agencies for their hard work during the AHAR process. We couldn’t have done it without you.

In order to be prepared for the 2015 AHAR, make sure your agency is completing the quarterly data clean-up sent by 211OC. This way, there will be a smaller number of corrections that need to be made during the next AHAR. If you have any feedback about this process, please contact

Keep up the great work!

Number of Times Homeless in the Past Three Years Data Clean-up
211OC has entered a ticket with the vendor to automatically update the Number of Times Homeless in the Past Three Years field in HMIS.  For any enrollments active in HMIS on or after 10/01/2014, all responses that are ‘At Least 4 Episodes’ will be changed to ‘4 or More’ in order to match the new Data Standards.  For any enrollments during this time period that answered ‘Less than 4 Episodes’, please update the field using the new Data Standards responses. If you have any questions about the changes, please contact

Changes to OC_Bed_Utilization Report
Two new columns have recently been added to the OC_Bed_Utilization report. The Occupying Households column is the number of unduplicated households active in the project on the date of the report. The Percent Unit Occupancy column is the Occupying Households divided by the Family Units. These columns were added so projects that operate by filling units instead of beds can determine their unit utilization.

As a reminder, projects will still need to provide explanations for bed utilizations below 65% or above 105%, even if their unit utilization is within the acceptable range. The reason for this is the AHAR and the HIC both look at bed utilization not unit utilization, so we still need to have explanations for those reports. Thanks for your patience as we continue to make enhancements to HMIS to fit your needs!

Quarterly Agency Spotlights
211OC would like to acknowledge the following agencies for their data quality on their Universal Data Elements (Program Exit Excluded). The following spotlights are based off of the fourth quarter’s reports (from 10/1/2014 to 12/31/2014) and the new 2014 Data Standards.

gold Gold – All Universal Data Elements are 100%

  • There were no agencies that receieved Gold status for this quarter.
silver Silver – All Universal Data Elements are 100%, except Social Security at 95%+

  • Mental Health America Los Angeles
bronze Bronze – All Universal Data Elements 95%+

  • American Family Housing

It is important to remember that all clients active as of 10/01/2014 need to be updated according to the 2014 Data Standards. We look forward to having more of you come back to the spotlight next quarter!

Fourth Quarter’s Clean-up and Analysis!
By February 20, 2015, new Quarterly Report Cards and Corrections will be generated for data that was entered in HMIS from October 1, 2014, to December 31, 2014 (fourth quarter). The Quarterly Report cards will include the third quarter. All data clean-up for the fourth quarters needs to be completed by March 20, 2015. On March 23, 2015, a follow-up will be done to ensure the data clean-up was completed.

Similar to the previous quarters, a password-protected Excel spreadsheet will be sent to each agency HMIS Agency Administrator, Backup HMIS Administrator, and Executive Director. The spreadsheet will be separated into separate tabs at the bottom of each spreadsheet for different types of corrections. Corrections are based off of the HMIS Data Quality Checklists (Long and Short version).
Send any feedback or questions you may have to or at the HMIS Users Meeting.

Happy Data Maintenance!

HMIS Patch Updates for January
In the month of January, our HMIS vendor made some changes to HMIS to improve system functionality.  Please click here to see a list of the updates that apply to you.  If you have any questions about these updates, or if you find any issues with these updates, please email

united_states_flag_waving 211OC Holiday Schedule
The 211OC office will be closed February 16th, 2015 in observance of President’s Day.211OC’s resource helpline however, is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for clients seeking information on resources available in Orange County.
Happy Valentine’s Day! 
Valentine’s Day is Saturday February 14th, 2015.
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