Data Matters January 2015

Data Matters
January 2015

2015 HIC and PIT Important Dates
Night of 1/23/15: HIC and PIT will be conducted
2/1/15: All data through 1/24/15 should be entered into HMIS or comparable database
2/8/15: All HIC and PIT surveys are due to 2-1-1 Orange County

211OC will be conducting HIC and PIT trainings in January for the 2015 HIC and PIT counts.  Attending one of these trainings is mandatory for all CoC, ESG, CDBG, VA, and S+C funded agencies, and is highly recommended for all other agencies.  Agencies with the project types listed below should attend the training.

  • Emergency Shelter
  • Transitional Housing
  • Permanent Supportive Housing
  • Safe Haven
  • PH – Rapid Re-housing

When: January 14th from 2:00 – 4:00 or January 15th from 10:00 – 12:00
Where: 1505 E 17th Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705 Casa Training Room (upstairs)
To RSVP for one of these trainings, click on one of the dates above or click here to view our calendar, select the training you would like to attend, and send your booking.  If you have any questions, please email

Name Data Quality and Housing Status Clean-up
We have entered tickets with the vendor to automatically update the Name Data Quality and Housing Status fields in HMIS.  These fields will be updated to match the 2014 Data Standards.  If you have any questions about the changes below, please contact

If the Name Data Quality field is currently blank, it will be updated to ‘Full Name Reported’ for all HMIS clients.  For any clients that refused to enter a first and last name, or entered a partial name or nickname, please correct the Name Data Quality field accordingly.

For all clients active 10/1/14 or later, the Housing Status field will be updated to match the 2014 Data Standards.  Please see below for a list of housing status options from the 2010 Data Standards, and what they will be changed to under the 2014 Data Standards.  For any clients whose housing status was changed to ‘Category 2 – At imminent risk of losing housing’, please make sure this is the correct housing status for the client, since ‘At-risk of homelessness’ and ‘Category 4 – Fleeing Domestic Violence’ are also answer options.

Literally homeless will be changed to Category 1 – Homeless

Unstably housed and at-risk of losing their housing will be changed to Category 2 – At imminent risk of losing housing

Imminently losing their housing will be changed to Category 2 – At imminent risk of losing housing

HMIS Helpdesk Etiquette
As a new year begins, we would like to request that our users follow the guidelines below when submitting HMIS issues and questions to the HMIS team.  Please reference our LA/OC HMIS Policies Procedure, 2.6 HMIS Technical Support Protocol, following these procedures will help HMIS staff resolve your issue quickly and efficiently.

  • Individual staff members at 211OC should not be contacted for enrollment reactivation or deletion, program setup, data certification, or any HMIS related issues. Users should contact the HMIS helpdesk e-mail at or phone at (714) 589-2360.  The mailbox and phone number are monitored by all HMIS staff and may result in a faster resolution of your HMIS inquiry.
  • Provide the following in your voicemail message or email: Name, Phone Number, Agency, Identifier of the client that you are working with and/or the name and parameters of the report that you are running.
  • If a client’s project enrollments needs reactivation, please provide their Identifier/ClientID and ApplicationID, as sometimes client(s) could have multiple enrollments.
  • Be specific about the issue that you are experiencing in HMIS so that HMIS staff can investigate the issue before your phone call or email is returned.  This includes what page you are working on, as well as the issue and/or error message you are receiving.
  • If possible, send screenshots of the error that you are experiencing.
  • According to HMIS Policies and Procedures, HMIS Helpdesk has 3 business days to respond to all email inquiries and issues, but support load, holidays, and other events may affect response time.  Should a ticket need to be submitted to the vendor, this may increase the time that it takes for an issue to be resolved.

We appreciate our users’ understanding and look forward to helping you with any HMIS issues that you may have. For any questions or feedback, please contact us at

HMIS User Meeting Reminder
The 1st quarter HMIS User meeting will be held on February 18, 2014 at 9:00 a.m.  This meeting will take place at the CASA training room. An agenda will be posted to our calendar closer to the meeting date.  We look forward to seeing you!
training hours

CA State ESG Update 
The State of California requires local continuums to prioritize applications and provide a local scoring, which is a portion of the overall scoring for the State ESG application.  The Commission to End Homelessness (C2EH) approved the local scoring criteria at the December 5, 2014 meeting.  On December 19th both the local and CA State ESG applications were due. We received 5 applications by the December 19th deadline.  Applications were reviewed by staff per the Commission approved criteria.  As part of the State NOFA application, the County of Orange will submit Attachment D CERTIFICATION OF LOCAL NEED to the State of California before the deadline of January 30, 2015.

Meet Our New HMIS Data Quality Specialist!
211OC would like to welcome Casey Parnis to the team as the new HMIS Data Quality Specialist. Casey will be taking over for Lidia, and will be conducting the quarterly HMIS Data Quality audits, HMIS training, agency audits, and providing user support for some HMIS issues. When you work with her, please make her feel welcome! 

Good Luck Lidia!
Lidia has accepted the position of Data Analyst – Reporting at 211OC. She will continue to work on HMIS until Casey is fully trained and ready to go! Once Casey’s training has been completed, Lidia will no longer be working in the HMIS department. Please direct all data certifications and inquiries to the HMIS Helpdesk at Wish her luck in her new position!


Updated HMIS Data Certification Form and Admittance Policy
The data certification form has now been updated to include the 2014 Data Standards. To download the new form please click here. The previous version will be accepted for December’s data but the new form must be used for January’s data.
The admittance policy for the monthly data certification form has also been updated. To download the new policy please click here. Major changes to the admittance policy are as follows:

  • Data Certifications that are not signed by HMIS Agency Administrator or back-up HMIS Agency Administrator will not be accepted.
  • Data Certifications must be sent to the HMIS Helpdesk (

New Demographics Report now Available

As a result of feedback at the last HMIS User Meeting, a new demographics report is now available.  This report, called the HUD Client Demographics report, will show aggregate demographic data for all clients active during the reporting period, and can be run for one project, or all projects at your agency.  If you are interested in this report, please contact the helpdesk at, and we will make the report available for your agency.

TipsAndTricks01 2 Did You Know…?
Did you know that Health Insurance is now being collected on the income tab of the Client Intake_v5 page?  If you have entered insurance data on the Demographics tab of the Client Intake_v5 page, it will not appear on any reports.   The Insurance field on the Demographics tab has been hidden to avoid confusion.  If you have been using this field to capture insurance data, please re-enter the data in the correct field, which is on the Income tab of the Client Intake_v5 page, below Non-Cash Benefits.
What is an HMIS Patch?
At a recent meeting, 211OC staff heard comments about how HMIS is “patched” (sounding like a bad thing). So we wanted to clear up what a patch is, in software terms. According to Wikipedia, “A patch is a piece of software designed to update a computer program or its supporting data, to fix or improve it.” And, “Patch management is the process of using a strategy and plan of what patches should be applied to which systems at a specified time.”We wanted to share with our HMIS users that most  software patches applied to HMIS are scheduled fixes and enhancements to the system. The 211OC staff participate in testing these patches after the vendor completes their quality assurance process. Patches are a routine part of the software development lifecycle and are needed to keep software systems (like HMIS) up-to-date.

Open Office Session Changes!

The dates for the Open Office Sessions have changed. Instead of having the sessions occur on the last Monday of every month, they will now be scheduled for an hour after the HMIS Part III: Data Validation Training.
With this change, new users will be encouraged to bring with them any files that they need to enter into HMIS for additional practice with the system. This hour will also be designated for any current users to come in and meet with HMIS Staff regarding any HMIS issues, questions, or requests. Open Office sessions can no longer be used for data entry only.
The first Open Office session will be January 21st, 2015. To register, please click here.
HMIS Patch Updates for December
In the month of December, 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
HMIS Training Sessions 
Dates and times for the next HMIS Beginner’s Training Part I (Policies & Procedures), HMIS Beginner’s Training Part II (HMIS), HMIS Beginner’s Training Part III (Data Validation), HMIS Reporting Training, HMIS Data Quality Training, and Mark for Delete Training are posted in the HMIS Calendar. For more details and to register for training, please visit the HMIS-Calendar.Please note that attending a Policies and Procedures training and Beginners training enables you to receive a temporary HMIS user ID and password valid for 30 days. In order to maintain and extend the HMIS user ID, a Data Validation training must be completed within a month of completing Beginners training or the account will be deactivated.
united_states_flag_waving 211OC Holiday Schedule
The 211OC office will be closed January 19th, 2014 in observance of Martin Luther King Jr. 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 Groundhog Day!
February 2nd is Groundhog Day.