We’re Team HMIS, and This Is How We Work


Team HMIS is Jason Burns (HMIS Systems Admin) and Samantha Bochinski (HMIS Ops Mgr).  We provide data administration, analysis, trainings, and technical support for human services agencies (homeless, prevention, health, veterans, etc.).  Due to limited funding and staffing in our line of work, we try our best to maximize our productivity with smart technology while maintaining the human element of personalized service.  We strive to produce meaningful data, while also creating time-saving workflows and resources to ensure our agencies are able to properly serve their clients. 

This is molded after the Lifehacker "How I Work" blogs, and will outline some of the basic tools we use on a daily basis to efficiently assist our programs.  All of the software listed here is free, and synced real-time across Team HMIS staff devices (PC's, phones, tablets, etc.).

Location: Towson, Maryland
3 words that best describe your work: Accountability + Collaboration + Transparency
Current mobile device: Android 
Current computer: PC's and Chromebooks



CALENDAR: Google Calendar
·         Syncs real-time with other calendars (Outlook, Novell, Gmail, Apple, etc.)
·         Posted on Team HMIS website for transparency + syncs real-time with our calendars
·         Detailed appointment descriptions, attachments, and maps
·         Reflects our real-time availability for scheduling purposes (see screenshot below)


CLOUD STORAGE: Google Drive + IFTTT + One Drive + Dropbox
·         Google Drive cloud storage + online collaboration + sharing (see screenshots below)
·         IFTTT recipes auto-save emails + attachments in specific cloud storage folders
·         One Drive cloud storage + sharing
·         Dropbox cloud storage + sharing




DATA ANALYSIS: Forms + Analytics + Sheets
·         Forms data auto-populated into Sheets with graphs
·         Data + monthly Performance Reports posted online at Team HMIS website (see screenshots below)
·         Analytics web and app data
·         Sheets simple templates and formulas





EMAIL: Gmail + Streak + IFTTT + Outlook
·         Gmail filters trigger action items for staff + auto-archive into folders + auto forward
·         Gmail labs efficiency + personalization
·         Streak auto-complete for common form emails
·         Streak project management pipelines
·         IFTTT recipes auto-save emails + attachments in specific cloud storage folders
·         IFTTT recipes label + post email newsletters to  Team HMIS News Blog
·         Outlook mobile app hold all email accounts


MEETINGS: Free Conference Call + TeamViewer + WebEx
·         Free Conference Call teleconferencing + basic web meetings
·         TeamViewer basic web meetings
·         WebEx teleconferencing + enhanced web meetings/trainings


MESSAGING/VOICE: Hangouts + Voice + SMS + Groups
·         Hangouts messaging/video meetings
·         Voice phone number rings office lines + cell phones simultaneously
·         Voice online voicemail services
·         SMS basic messaging
·         Groups private emails for specific groups



NEWS/UPDATES: Blogger + IFTTT + Flipboard + Feedly + Pocket
·         Blogger post news + updates to  Team HMIS News Blog (see screenshot below)
·         IFTTT recipes label + post email newsletters to  Team HMIS News Blog
·         Flipboard industry related news
·         Feedly industry related news
·         Pocket saves industry related news from websites to read later


​​OFFICE SUITE: MS Office +Docs + Sheets + Slides + Forms + WPS
·         MS Office online office suite
·         Google Docs online + offline office suite
·         Google Docs online real-time collaboration on same docs
·         WPS mobile app edit + view office suite docs


PROJECT MGMT: Trello + Keep + Sheets
·         Trello online project management with simple layout + easy collaboration (note: we now use Asana)
·         Google Keep simple checklists + notes
·         Google Sheets synced online


SECURITY: SSL + HTTPS + AES + 2 Step Verification
·         SSL enabled by default on all applicable platforms
·         HTTPS enabled by default on all applicable platforms
·         AES (128 bit + 256 bit) encryption utilized when needed
·         2 Step Verification enabled by default on applicable platforms


SUPPORT: Sites + Forms + Calendar + Sheets + TeamViewer
·         Sites online Support Portal + resources
·         Forms support request questionnaire posted on  Team HMIS website 
·         Google Calendar posted online to reflect availability for users scheduling meetings/trainings
·         Sheets track support requests + formulas produce graphs (see screenshot below)
·         TeamViewer remote desktop support





WEBSITE: Google Sites

·         Team HMIS website for forms, guidelines, workflows, reports, and support requests 
·         Simple user-friendly web interface + lightweight + fast + mobile-friendly


Upcoming: Non-Time Limited Housing for Youth Webinar - August 13, 2015 - 1 PM EDT


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

Upcoming: Non-Time Limited Housing for Youth Webinar - August 13, 2015 - 1 PM EDT


The United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) is hosting the webinar, Non-Time Limited Housing for Youth, on Thursday, August 13, 2015 from 1:00 - 2:15 PM EDT. In addition to leaders from USICH and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), community presenters from Portland, Maine, and New York City will highlight two models of non-time limited housing for youth, detailing how those programs were developed and financed, what the programs offer to youth, as well as outcomes and challenges.

As communities work to coordinate a comprehensive approach to ending youth homelessness by 2020, creating and financing housing opportunities for youth unable to return to families can be a challenge. Some communities are beginning to find success with housing for youth that does not include traditional time-limits or programmatic requirements. Many of these programs also provide trauma-informed services that address the physical, socio-emotional, intellectual, and life skills development of youth on a pathway to independence.
Presenters:
  • Kiley Gosselin, Management and Program Analyst, USICH
     
  • Norm Suchar, Director, Special Needs Assistance Programs, HUD
     
  • Jon Bradley, Associate Director, Preble Street, Portland, ME
     
  • Colleen Jackson, Executive Director & CEO, West End Residences, HDFC, Inc., New York, NY
To learn more about this webinar and participate, visit the USICH Webinar Page.


SOAR August eNews

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Contact Us SSA Webinars SOAR Voices Blog


Federal Partners Release Key Strategies for Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness to SSI/SSDI 


On July 14, 2015, the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), the Social Security Administration (SSA), the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) released Key Strategies for Connecting People Experiencing Homelessness to SSI/SSDI. This document provides guidance and best practices for collaborating with community partners and SSA field offices to help individuals experiencing homelessness successfully navigate the SSI/SSDI application process. Guidance also focuses on encouraging individuals to utilize SSA work incentives after approval for SSI/SSDI.
     
    Increasing Access to Income and Benefits Strategies
  for SSI and SSDI panel
   
On July 15, 2015, Jen Elder, SOAR TA Center Senior Project Associate, participated on a panel at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, D.C. to roll out the Key Strategies document. Jen, along with Lindsay Knotts (USICH), Pamela Fischer (SAMHSA), ML Jordan, Jr. (SSA), and Adrienne Melendez (VA), presented highlights from the document and received enthusiastic feedback from attendees. We encourage everyone to read through the Key Strategies, and to distribute it to community partners. Most SOAR providers will recognize many of the strategies contained in the document, as they highlight best practices established by SOAR providers over the past 10 years! 



CABHI Recipients


Congratulations to the states that have been awarded SAMHSA's Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals for States (CABHI) grants! We are thrilled to hear of all the new SOAR benefits specialists that these grants will make possible!
Under this award, CABHI recipients will:
  • Improve statewide strategies to address planning, coordination, and integration of behavioral health and primary care services and permanent housing to reduce homelessness
  • Increase the number of individuals, residing in permanent housing, who receive behavioral health treatment and recovery support services
  • Increase the number of individuals placed in permanent housing and enrolled in Medicaid and other mainstream benefits, including SSI/SSDI



Sharing Our Successes


South Dakota: Last month, SOAR TA Center team members Abigail Lemon and Pam Root set out on a road trip across the state of South Dakota to reenergize the SOAR initiative.  The first stop was Sioux Falls, where they held a SOAR meeting with community members to increase interest for SOAR.  Next up was a meeting with the SOAR State Team Lead in Pierre, followed by a SOAR forum in Rapid City.  The forum and meetings were a great success and we are looking forward to seeing SOAR "soar" in South Dakota!
 
Do you have a SOAR success story to share? E-mail us at soar@prainc.com.



Federal Updates


Important Information for Same-Sex Couples from Social Security


On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, holding that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry in all states.  As a result, more same-sex couples will be recognized as married for purposes of determining entitlement to Social Security benefits or eligibility for SSI payments. Read the full article.



Recent Stories from the SOAR Voices Blog


SOAR Turns Ten!


I read with tremendous nostalgia Kristin's July 6 email to State and Local SOAR Leaders. Wow, SOAR is 10 years old this year...  I recalled so many incredible memories as I reflected on the 10th birthday of SOAR. Read the full blog.


Liaison Spotlight: Pamela Heine


Get to know SOAR Project Associate, Pamela Heine, in this new blog. Find out what states she works with, her favorite travel story, and her favorite SOAR success story! Read the full blog.


Paying it Forward with SOAR


Peer support has used SOAR as a lifeline for individuals who seem to feel as if there is little hope in them ever getting back on their feet.  SOAR allows me to give individuals hope that there is a special program with a team of individuals collaborating to help them be successful in the SSI/SSDI process. Read the full blog.



Upcoming Events


Leadership Academy 2015 


September 1-3, 2015 - Denver, CO


SOAR Webinar - Save the Date!


The SOAR Medical Summary Report 
September 10, 2015; 3:00-4:30 p.m. ET
Contact your SOAR State Liaison for more information!
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