ACTION NEEDED: 2015 Point in Time (PIT) Survey

Good morning!  Please take a moment to review the materials for our 2015 Point in Time survey listed below or on our site.  Feel free to contact Sam and Jason at or 443-574-HMIS for any questions and/or concerns.  Thank you!

2015 PIT Survey Date - 1/29/15

PIT Flyer - info related to training and registration 

Volunteer Registration - everyone must register online

HMIS Participants - all HMIS participants (especially DSS screening unit, shelters, transitional housing, rapid-rehousing, permanent housing, and anyone serving homeless clients) must have all client data entered by 11:59pm on 1/29/15

Setup Status - info related to setup 

Jason Burns, MCSE 
Systems Administrator 
HMIS Support Team 
Always use ServicePoint manuals. NEVER guess! Properly entering data, or contacting us, saves hours! Forums News Report Cards * Support * Training * Unsubscribe

NHSDC Call for Session Proposals!

NHSDC Call for Session Proposals!
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Conference Update!

The National Human Services Data Consortium (NHSDC) will be holding its Spring Conference on April 16 & 17, 2015, at the Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown/Convention Center in Denver, CO. Conference registration will open early in January.

This year's theme is Supporting cross-systems data collaboration for integrated, person-centered care planning.

Those interested in presenting at the Spring Conference are encouraged to review the "Call for Session Proposals" section below.

Hotel Information
Embassy Suites Denver-Downtown/Convention Center
1420 Stout Street Denver, CO 80202
Room rate: $149.00 (not including tax or fees)
Use our Online Reservations Link 
Or call 303-592-1000 and reference NHSDC Spring 2015 Conference or code NHS
Please note: the room rate is available until March 25, 2015 or until the room block is filled, which ever comes first. 

Call for Session Proposals 

NHSDC Conference attendees are interested in unique, novel or otherwise innovative applications of data to the delivery of human services.  In keeping with this year's theme, NHSDC is looking for session proposals that address the growing need of communities to explore new ways of using data to connect service providers, expand the use of data beyond traditional boundaries and learn about tools and techniques organizations are using to achieve these initiatives.
NHSDC is particularly interested in creating a dedicated track for beginners at our Spring 2015 conference. We anticipate (and welcome) numerous proposals directed towards advanced users. If you submit such a proposal, please consider adding an additional session targeted towards beginners, which would mean that you would deliver two versions of the same presentation: one for beginners and the other for experienced users. Please submit a separate proposal for each.
Topic ideas for conference sessions are as follows:
Policy and Planning: Sessions in this area should focus on how your community or project uses data or management information systems to support new strategies in public policy around reducing poverty, improving self sufficiency of human service program participants, and the like. For example:
• Using data to coordinate policy and planning across multiple systems of care (homeless housing and services, criminal justice, healthcare, mental health, substance use disorder, veterans services, employment and vocational programs, etc.)
• System redesign projects, like transitioning to a coordinated assessment system • Program evaluation using technology
• Using data & outcomes in grant writing

End Results: Sessions in this area should focus on the mechanics used to demonstrate how programs delivered and documented effective outcomes. Conversely, the NHSDC members value accurate data, and understanding the roots of program failure is also interesting. For example:
• Using evaluation to shape program modifications
• Comparison of federal and local metrics
• Developing performance measures from sound evidence
• Collaboration to improve discharge planning (Foster care, Criminal Justice, Hospitals)
• Evaluating costs off-sets or the benefit of Social Impact Bonds
• Measuring community-wide impact

Data Sharing & Collaboration: Sessions in this area should explore real strategies for the dissemination of data across multiple sectors and the coordination of these efforts. Projects increase the impact of their information exponentially when they effectively collaborate with other data oriented projects. The audience for these sessions must be able to understand the mechanics of data sharing. Presenters should articulate not only the outcomes but the mechanics of making it happen. For example:
• Integrating data systems for improved client outcomes (VA, HMIS, HHS, etc)
• Development of project plans for data sharing initiatives
• Mechanics of communication and negotiation with multiple vendors
• Addressing the fear of data sharing: technical, legal, and community agreements

Technical Application: Show us how technology is being used to tell the story of your data. Sessions in this area should demonstrate specific uses of technology that have increased the skillsets or capacity to serve within a community. Your audience should walk away with applicable skills to enhance the utilization of human service data systems. For example:
• Advanced uses of technology (e.g. GIS, advanced Excel, mobile devices, social media)
• Technology and applications for data visualization • Practical tools for statistical analysis
• Report Building and Technical Writing
• System Administrator Communication Tools
• Real world tools for better communication with community stakeholders and system users
Note: NHSDC Conference attendees represent communities of all sizes and systems of varying levels of sophistication.  Sessions that address issues common to any community as well as the concerns of very small or very large communities are encouraged.
To prepare for your online submission, please have the following information:
Session Title: Limit to 100 characters
Description: Descriptions should be a brief summary of the content and purpose of the proposed session. Attendees will want to learn about real world success and failure. Only the first 500 words of the description will be forwarded to the reviewers. Indicate if your presentation would be characterized as beginner, intermediate or advanced level information.
Audience and Learning Objectives: All proposals must identify the targeted level of the audience: beginner or experienced. We are particularly interested in creating a dedicated track for beginners at our Spring 2015 conference. Therefore, we encourage proposals geared towards beginners. We anticipate (and welcome) numerous proposals directed towards advanced users. If you submit such a proposal, please consider adding an additional session targeted towards beginners, which would mean that you would deliver two versions of the same presentation: one for beginners and the other for experienced users.
Bio: All proposals must include a paragraph that discusses the experience of each speaker (please include names, titles, and foundation/agency and limit to 300 words).
Session Contact Information: If your proposal includes a panel or group please indicate which individual NHSDC should communicate with regarding the session.
Preferred Session Format: Please indicate in your proposal your preferred format (plenary, workshop, presentation, and round-table). If NHSDC thinks your proposal might be good for everyone we may reach out to you about presenting as a plenary or repeating your session.
Please Note:
  • Session lengths are planned to be between 50 & 75 minutes in length and should include time for questions and answers.  NHSDC attendees value opportunities to engage in discussion with session presenters and attendees.
  • If you don't feel as though your proposal specifically fits one of the above topics, but feel that it could be beneficial for conference attendees, please feel free to submit your proposal with an additional narrative demonstrating this.
  • NHSDC offers a vendor neutral conference.  Sessions must not promote a specific company, product or service.  Vendor specific references, materials, logos and screenshots must be excluded from proposal and presentation materials.
  • Presenters chosen for the NHSDC Conference will be offered a discount off the full conference registration price. To qualify for the discount, presenters must register for the conference by the registration deadline. Please note, for panel presentations, discounts will be limited to three presenters.
  • The Conference Committee reserves the right to request a modification of the proposed content, which may include asking presenters to combine similar presentations.
Proposal deadline – Monday, February 2, 2015. To read the Call for Proposals release, click here.  To submit your proposal online, click here.

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays and Exciting News from SNAPS

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

Happy Holidays and Exciting News from SNAPS

As we celebrate the Holidays and the end of the year is upon us, I wanted to take a moment and say thank you once again for all of the work that you do day in and day out to serve men, women, and children who are experiencing homelessness in our communities. I am grateful that we have so many talented and dedicated people working to end homelessness across the country.

With no Continuum of Care application deadline looming, I hope that you are enjoying a restful and peaceful holiday season with friends and family. We hope to keep it that way in years to come!

I also wanted to share with you some exciting news. Earlier this year, after a lot of consideration I accepted the job of Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs (vacated by Mark Johnston when he retired), and began the search for the new Director for the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS). This was not an easy choice—SNAPS has been my home for more than seven years and I love the work that we do. But I am confident that it was the right choice and that our team is getting even stronger.

It is my pleasure to announce the selection of Mr. Norm Suchar as the new Director of the SNAPS Office. Norm brings to the Department a wealth of national and local experience on the issue of homelessness, as well as an incredible passion for the work and the mission of the Department. Many of you know Norm from his years with the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Norm takes over as the Director effective December 29.  

We are pleased to have him join the team. Please join me in giving Norm a warm welcome.

Ann Marie Oliva
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs
Acting Director, Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs

Suicide Myths and a New Tool for Suicide Prevention


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Suicide Myths and a New Tool for Suicide Prevention
It's a common myth that suicide rates are highest during the holiday season. Suicide rates are actually lowest in December, and rates peak during the spring and fall.
However, suicide remains a major public health challenge all year long; more than 40,000 Americans die by suicide every year, and suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. As the new year approaches, SAMHSA is preparing to release a free mobile app—optimized for tablets—called Suicide Safe, a suicide prevention learning tool for behavioral health and primary care providers. Suicide Safe helps providers integrate suicide prevention strategies into their practice and reduce suicide risk among their patients.
SAMHSA's free Suicide Safe app will be available in early 2015 for iOS® and Android™ mobile devices.

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