September brings a lot of activity and exciting progress for the CoC. This newsletter includes important information for agencies about the coming changes. We hope you take the time to read about the following topics:

HMIS Transition Update

The HMIS software transition is in its final month. September will move quickly for our HMIS Partner Agencies because there is a lot for us all to do together, most notably:

  • New User TrainingAll users must attend new user training for Clarity before they will receive access to the new software. Training will occur September 1 through September 11. If you have not registered for training, you can still sign up here for this week’s online training offerings.
  • Client Consent/ROI Training – There will be a new, HIPAA-compliant client consent/release of information form for HMIS in Clarity. All users must attend training in how to complete this form with clients before they will receive access to the new software. Training on the consent form will occur online September 15-17. The schedule will be posted on the HMIS training page soon. In addition, HMIS users will be expected to collect and upload this new consent form for all active clients.
  • Reports due in October – We strongly encourage that any agencies that are dependent on HMIS for their reports and have reports due in early October run these reports before September 25. While reporting functionality will be available when we launch Clarity on October 1, we cannot guarantee that the transition will be free of data quality or data migration issues. In addition, training on reporting will not occur until October. Therefore, please run your data reports in ServicePoint before it shuts down for good on September 25. If you need a letter from the CoC for your funder regarding the timing of the transition, please contact Hilary Barroga.
  • HMIS Documents – A new set of documents related to each Partner Agency’s participation in HMIS will be required before the agency can participate in HMIS. We are finalizing these documents with County Counsel and expect to have them available in mid-September. These documents will require a quick turnaround from Partner Agencies, so we want to note them here so that you expect them.
  • Data Quality Threshold – Please click here to find an important memo about data migration from ServicePoint to Clarity. Please review it carefully, as it explains how the Data Completeness Report Card will be used to determine what data will be migrated to Clarity and what steps you can take to correct outstanding data quality issues.

All HMIS Partner Agencies are strongly encouraged to send a representative to the next HMIS Agency Administrators meeting on September 3. These meetings contain useful information about agencies’ responsibilities in the HMIS implementation, and Bitfocus and the County are available to answer any questions agencies may have.

As a reminder of the timing of the transition, on September 25, our current ServicePoint software will be taken offline and will no longer accessible. HMIS will be unavailable from September 25 (around 5 p.m.) until October 1 when we launch Clarity as our HMIS.

If you need help or support with HMIS, please email Bitfocus at sccsupport@bitfocus.com.

Coordinated Assessment Implementation

Coordinated Assessment is coming to Santa Clara County! Implementation is planned for November or December 2015. As we move closer to implementation, there are two key Coordinated Assessment meeting this month:

  • Coordinated Assessment Work Group (9/10): This month’s meeting will focus on reviewing draft policies and procedures. All are invited to attend (see sidebar for meeting details). We are just months away from implementation – take this opportunity to join us and share your input on system design! If you have questions or input and can’t make the meeting, please contact Erin Stanton.
  • Coordinated Assessment Overview: Assessment Tools & Prioritization (9/17, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm): Senior leaders and program managers from organizations serving people who are homeless in Santa Clara County are highly encouraged to participate in this web-based presentation and discussion led by OrgCode Consulting, Inc. This session will provide a high level overview of the VI-SPDAT and SPDAT tools that Santa Clara County is adopting for use in late 2015. The VI-SPDAT will be used as the standard triage assessment for Santa Clara County’s Coordinated Assessment system and the SPDAT will replace the Self-Sufficiency Matrix for use in case management as a more in-depth assessment tool. The session will also provide an overview of how these tools can be used to triage and prioritize people based on vulnerability and need. Full day training on the VI-SPDAT and SPDAT for frontline staff will be held in late October. Registration details for this webinar will be sent out soon.

What is Coordinated Assessment?

Coordinated Assessment (also known as Coordinated Entry) is a consistent, community wide intake process to match people experiencing homelessness to community resources that are the best fit for their situation. In Santa Clara County’s Coordinated Assessment system, all homeless individuals and families will complete a standard assessment survey (the VI-SPDAT) that considers the household’s situation and identifies the best type of housing intervention to address their situation. Permanent housing programs, including permanent supportive housing and rapid rehousing, will fill spaces in their programs from a community queue of eligible households generated from the standard assessment. This coordinated process will reduce the need for people to traverse the county seeking assistance at every provider separately.

HUD CoC NOFA

We are still waiting for HUD to release the CoC NOFA. The latest buzz is that the release of the NOFA is pending legal review since there are a number of substantive changes from prior years. Shortly after HUD releases the NOFA we will share more details about the local application process and timeline. Stay tuned!

UPLIFT Referrals for October 2015

Due to the HMIS software transition, referrals for UPLIFT Transit Pass badges and stickers will be made outside of HMIS. Agencies who already participate in the UPLIFT Transit Pass program will receive instructions from Lynn Terzian sometime during the first week of September about how they should request UPLIFT badges and stickers for the quarter beginning on October 1, 2015.

UPLIFT referrals will once again be processed through HMIS for the quarter beginning January 2016. Details about the new procedure and a training schedule will be published sometime in the Fall.

Because of this change, new agencies will not be added to the UPLIFT program for the quarter beginning October 2015. If you have questions about the UPLIFT program, please contact Lynn Terzian.