Baltimore County HMIS News 9/12/14

  • NEW! Assessment Questions
    • Please view screenshot and notes below
    • This does not apply to the DSS Screening Unit or SSVF
    • These questions will remain blue until the end of next week
      • At the end of next week, they will be "required" questions (bold red)

  • NEW! Graphs on HMIS Report Cards
    • Please view screenshot and notes below
    • Visit our site to view our HMIS report cards
      • Use the tabs at the top of each report card to view graphs

Jason Burns
Systems Administrator
HMIS Support Team

Your Life Matters! - New Suicide Prevention Campaign


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Your Life Matters!

A New Suicide Prevention Campaign for Faith Communities

Your Life Matters! Logo The National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention (Action Alliance) recently launched the "Your Life Matters!" campaign. During the campaign, the Action Alliance encourages every faith tradition to dedicate one day of worship each year to celebrate life, hope, and reasons to live. Faith traditions can consider observing this celebration near September 10, which is World Suicide Prevention Day. However, the message that each congregant's life matters could be promoted anytime during the year, whenever it fits the needs of the local faith community.

Faith communities are in a unique position to reach a large portion of the millions of Americans who struggle with serious thoughts of suicide each year. Many people feel hopeless or trapped, or are in such emotional pain or despair that they struggle to face another day.

"Research shows that many people in these kinds of crises will accept help and support from faith leaders and faith community members, before they will seek care from mental health professionals," according to Dr. Anne Mathews-Younes, Co-Lead of the Faith Communities Task Force and Division Director at SAMHSA's Center for Mental Health Services at HHS. Dr. Mathews-Younes suggests that "Faith communities can help their members by supporting those who face mental health challenges and/or problems with misuse of alcohol and other drugs, as they seek effective treatment."

Like SAMHSA on Facebook   Follow SAMHSA on Twitter   Subscribe to SAMHSA's YouTube Channel   Visit the SAMHSA Dialogue Blog

Join CHAI and Adopt-A-Neighbor!

Join CHAI for the
2014 Adopt-A-Neighbor Kick-off!

Sunday, November 16, 2014
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Embassy Apartments Lobby
3809 Clarks Lane, Baltimore
(The corner of Gist Avenue and Clarks Lane)

CHAI is seeking volunteers of all ages and skill levels to work with our neighborhoods' most vulnerable residents two to four times over the course of the year in a more meaningful way. 

Your volunteer work will provide vital maintenance as well as companionship. Through your service you will establish an ongoing connection with individuals and deepen the experience of all involved. 

Volunteer activities include winterization of windows and yard maintenance. 

This kick-off event will serve as your initial meeting of the 2014-2015 volunteer season.

Continue volunteering the rest of the year on your own schedule, individually or as a VolunTeam.

You will earn four hours of service learning each time you volunteer.

 Registration Deadline: October 31, 2014
CHAI-Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc
5809 Park Heights Avenue
Baltimore, Maryland 21215

NHSDC Fall Conference Preliminary Agenda and Pre-Conference Institute

Fall Conference Preliminary Agenda and Pre-Conference Institute
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We’re excited about the Fall Conference!

The NHSDC Fall Conference Planning Committee is really gearing up for our upcoming event. A preliminary agenda is now available on our web site! Please note that HUD has approved the NHSDC conference as an eligible HMIS activity for those that have funds in the Training and Technical Assistance line of their HMIS budget. Check our website for more details.

Registration is progressing quite well. Our event is expected to sell out, so please register for the conference as soon as you can! Also, don't forget to book your hotel room now - the NHSDC discount block is filling up and will sell out! Please visit the Hilton Crystal City web site and use group code: NHC

NHSDC is also excited to announce an interactive "Train the Trainer” session on the Client Access, Assessment, and Referral Experience System (CAARES) Design. This session takes place on October 20, 2014, the day before the official kick-off of the Fall 2014 NHSDC Conference.

Client focused system of care design is the cornerstone to developing an effective and productive coordinated access, assessment, and referral system. The purpose of the CAARES Institute is to begin training community leadership on how to facilitate the development of a client-focused system of care within their own communities to support coordinated assessment system development, identify and implement prioritization strategies, develop written standards, and facilitate performance measurement. The Institute is designed to address all knowledge levels of coordinated assessment system design from beginner to expert.

Institute Registration
Advance registration is required and seating is limited. Registration is $65.00 per person through our conference web site.

Attendees may check-in starting at 12:15. The Institute will take place from 12:30pm until 5:00pm. The Institute will be split into two sessions: 1) Designing a CAARES system and 2) How to set up and facilitate system design sessions. Light snacks and beverages will be provided.

First session: Attendees will experience the process of developing a CAARES system. This session will be a hands-on, fully interactive, facilitated experience that will result in collectively developing a fictional system. Community leaders will gain experience in going through the process that they can leverage when they are facilitating like sessions in their own communities. An introduction to concepts and objectives will be provided to ensure that all participants (no matter what knowledge level) will have a basis for understanding system planning and implementation. Highlights of objectives and results from communities that have already completed the process will be included (Maine, New Mexico, Rockford, IL, and Atlanta, GA).

Second session: Attendees will understand trainer facilitation techniques and the process of setting up and facilitating the CAARES process within communities. Trainer experiences and techniques from communities completing the process will be highlighted along with successes and challenges. Particular attention will be on developing community leadership facilitation techniques, identifying and deploying focusing techniques and strategic facilitation. Attendees will leave the Institute with next steps for pursuing developing a client-focused system of care in their own communities.

We look forward to seeing you in DC!

Disaster Planning for Homeless Populations

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Exchange Mailing List

Disaster Planning for Homeless Populations

September is National Preparedness Month!
When a disaster strikes, individuals and families living on the street are among the most vulnerable populations. Persons experiencing homelessness have little or no resources to evacuate or shelter in place, stockpile food, and access medications. However, communities and individuals can - and should - plan in advance for emergencies, in order to better help homeless populations if and when a major disaster occurs.
Weather-related disasters continue to be a threat: the Northern Atlantic Ocean hurricane season runs from June 1 to November 30, and tornados and wildfires are a growing problem around the country.
As part of SNAPS technical assistance, CoCs and grantees can request TA to prepare for, respond to, and recover from a major disaster. Questions and requests for Technical Assistance can be submitted on the HUD Exchange.

Steps to be Better Prepared for an Emergency:

  • CoC and ESG recipients, subrecipients, contractors, and program participants should register with local emergency broadcast mechanisms listed below that will alert them to an impending disaster. These alerts can provide individuals and families, as well as service providers, the information they need to act when a disaster occurs.
  • CoCs and service providers should ensure that they, and others in their CoC, understand the resources that will be available to program participants during a disaster. Evacuation, shelter-in-place, and other plans may differ based on the part of a city in which a unit is located. For example, service providers can help program participants become familiar with local emergency evacuation routes, particularly when helping someone move to a new neighborhood. Or, they could help program participants develop their own plan of action for family members during a disaster.
  • Download the FEMA mobile app designed for phones and tablets with disaster safety tips, an interactive emergency kit list, storable emergency meeting locations, and a map with open shelters and open FEMA Disaster Recovery Centers (DRCs).

Stay Informed!

The following information sites are designed to alert communities to a potential or actual disaster:

PIT Count Methodology Guide and Additional PIT Resources

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HUD Exchange Mailing List

PIT Count Methodology Guide and Additional PIT Resources

To kick off the 2015 Point-in-Time (PIT) count HUD has published several resources.

PIT Count Methodology Guide 

HUD has published the PIT Count Methodology Guide to assist communities in conducting their PIT counts. This guide provides Continuums of Care (CoCs) with new minimum PIT count standards and guidance concerning acceptable methodologies and effective PIT count implementation. The guide will be useful in determining a process for collecting high-quality data on the number and characteristics of sheltered and unsheltered homeless people in your community. HUD recommends that CoCs regularly review and refer to this guide to answer questions about PIT count preparation, implementation, and analysis. This guide replaces the Guide to Counting Sheltered Homeless People and the Guide to Counting Unsheltered Homeless People.

Updated PIT Count Model Surveys and Instructions

HUD has posted updated model PIT count surveys on the PIT Survey Tools page. The survey updates reflect feedback from the U.S. Census Bureau and improve the way data is collected. HUD has also published instructions for enumerators on how to best implement the model surveys. While these model surveys remain optional HUD recommends that CoCs carefully review their contents and consider implementing the questions.

2015 PIT Count Poster

HUD has mailed a few complimentary copies of the 2015 PIT Count Poster to each CoC and made the pdf file available for communities to use.

Updated Notice for the 2015 PIT and Housing Inventory Count (HIC)

HUD is finalizing the Notice regarding the PIT and HIC requirements for 2015 and future counts. HUD anticipates making a few changes to the data collection requirements and will publish this information as soon as possible.

Additional PIT Count Resources

To accompany the PIT Count Methodology Guide, HUD will be publishing several tools to assist communities, including PIT count planning tools, sample forms, and an extrapolation tool that may be used for certain demographic data. HUD will publish these on the HUD Exchange website and notify CoCs via the HUD Exchange mailing list as they become available.

Questions about the HIC or PIT counts?

If you have additional questions about HIC or PIT count requirements or related materials and training, please submit them through the HUD Exchange Ask a Question portal. On Step 2, select the HDX Reporting System in the “My question is related to” dropdown.

NHSDC Fall Conference - Washington, DC Metro Area - October 21 & 22, 2014

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U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Community Planning Development OneCPD Mailing List
Developing Viable Communities through Housing, Services, & Economic Opportunities

NHSDC Fall Conference - Washington, DC Metro Area - October 21 & 22, 2014

The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) is a collaborative organization that understands the importance of data quality and the value of using valid and reliable data for community planning and performance measurement. NHSDC has worked for over 13 years to deliver conferences that allow Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) professionals to discuss current challenges and best practices while developing a critical network of peer support.
As in past years, the NHSDC conference is a HUD approved conference. Therefore, HMIS funds awarded under the Continuum of Care (CoC) program may be used to attend the 2014 NHSDC Fall Conference. Funds included in the Training and Technical Assistance line of the HMIS budget may be used for costs associated with attendance at training sessions that are qualified-and pre-approved by HUD Headquarters, such as this NHSDC conference. Projects without funds designated for HMIS do not have an HMIS budget, and, therefore, are not eligible to use supportive service funds to attend this event.
For more information regarding the NHSDC Fall Conference, please visit the NHSDC website.

[MARHMIS] CSH Training- NJ

The CSH Supportive Housing Training Center is bringing two workshops to New Brunswick, NJ, on October 22nd and 23rd, 2014. As a leader in the supportive housing field, CSH's workshops offer some of the most robust training the industry has to offer. Mastering Quality in Supportive Housing (day 1) and/or Effective Targeting (day 2) will help you develop the skills and techniques necessary for implementing best practices and serving your community's most vulnerable people. Register for one or both days.

October 22nd, 9am to 4pm – Mastering Quality in Supportive Housing
October 23rd, 9am to 4pm – Effective Targeting: Maximizing Supportive Housing Resources for Success

$175 for one day, $325 for both days. Save $25 by registering by September 26th!

Edison Housing Authority - 14 Rev Samuel Carpenter Blvd - Edison, NJ 08820

Access details here or register now.
Find out more about CSH at


Colleen Velez
Sr. Program Manager