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Everyone deserves to be Home for Good.

EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS?

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HOME FOR GOOD

United Way’s Home for Good strategy helps move individuals and families from homelessness to permanent, stable housing. Through collaboration and partnerships, Home for Good assists in proven measures to prevent homelessness before it happens, because everyone deserves a place to call home. 

Home For Good was charged with implementing the City’s Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness. The ten year plan contains seven strategic initiatives for establishing long-term, sustainable solutions for reducing and ending homelessness. Our goal is to make homelessness rare, brief, and a one-time occurrence.

Continuum of Care (CoC)

The Continuum of Care (CoC) is designed to promote community-wide commitment to the goal of ending homelessness. The CoC consists of partner agencies working together to promote access and utilization of their programs.

Since 2015, Home for Good, as Continuum of Care lead, has overseen the housing initiatives that have resulted in the housing of hundreds of veterans chronically homeless people.

Priorities

  • Sufficient Resources
    • Increased access to affordable and permanent supportive housing
    • Bringing together philanthropy and public funders with the goal of ensuring that all housing and service needs are addressed

  • Coordinated Entry System
    • Increased collaborative efforts among service and system providers

FEATURED

January, 2024

2024 Point In Time Count – Preliminary data available here


September 22, 2023

FY 2023 Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability 


First Tuesdays, 3:00 pm

Monthly Housing Navigation Meetings

NEWSLETTERS

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WHO IS HOMELESS?

Anyone not having a permanent place to live or living in a place not intended to be permanent (shelter, motel, car, abandoned buildings).

HOW DO WE END HOMELESSNESS?

Coordinate our community’s resources, utilize nationally recognized best practices and focus on housing as the solution. By joining housing and services we will be able to transition people out of homelessness permanently.

WHY DO WE NEED TO END HOMELESSNESS?

Safe, affordable, and decent housing helps build strong, healthy communities by improving the safety of neighborhoods, beautifying city blocks with new and rehabilitated properties and increasing or stabilizing property values. It is also very cost-effective – lessening the amount of tax dollars needed to combat the effect of homelessness.


POINT IN TIME COUNT


  • 2024 Point In Time Count – January 29 & 30 2024
  • 2023 Point In Time Count – January 23 & 24 2023
  • 2022 Point In Time Count – February 22 & 23 2022
  • 2021 Point In Time Count – February 16 & 17 2021
  • 2020 Point In Time Count – January 21 & 22 2020

Betsy Covington
Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley

Melonese Close
Piedmont Columbus Regional

Mariha Feliciano MD
Piedmont Columbus Regional Northside

Ron King
Community Advocate

Curtis Lockette
Muscogee County Sheriff’s Department

Rick McKnight
FabArts

Ben Moser
United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley

Margalena Remington
Feeding the Valley

Rabbi Beth Schwartz
Temple Israel

Robert Scott
Community Reinvestment

Terrance Walker
Phenix City Police Department

Lisa Walters
The Housing Authority of Columbus, Georgia

Venita Beaty
Veteran’s Administration

Glenville Challenger
Goodwill of the Southern Rivers

Pat Frey
Executive Director- Home for Good (Ex-Office Board Member)

Curtis Lockette, Chair
Major – Muscogee County Sheriff’s Office

Jennifer Lowman
City of Phenix City

Mesha Patrick
Russell County School District

Margalena Remington
Formerly Homeless

Louis Robinson
R&C Properties of Columbus

Gloria Rodgers
Gedolyn Wilkers Rainbow Center

Lynn Sanders, Secretary
Phenix City Housing Authority

Lisa Walters, Co-Chair
CEO- Housing Authority of Columbus GA

Michele Zack
Waverly Terrace Senior Apartments

2023 NOFO APPLICATION INFORMATION

Updated September 22, 2023

Updated September 21, 2023

Updated September 11, 2023

Updated September 1, 2023

Updated August 1, 2023

Updated July 26, 2023

FY 2023 Continuum of Care Notice of Funding Availability 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) has posted the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the Fiscal Year (FY) 2023 Continuum of Care Competition and the Renewal Replacement of Youth Homeless Demonstration Program grants on Grants.gov and will be available on the Funding Opportunities page on HUD’s website later today. Additional resources will be available on the Continuum of Care Program Competition page of HUD’s website.  

The CoC Application, CoC Priority Listing, and Project Applications should be available in e-snaps this month. Collaborative Applicants and project applicants will be able to access the applications to review, update, and enter required information for the application process.    

Submission Deadline: Thursday, September 28, 2023 at 8:00 PM EDT  

Collaborative Applicants  

  • The CoC Application and CoC Priority Listing that includes all project applications that will be submitted to HUD are separate submissions in e-snaps. Collaborative Applicants must submit both parts of the CoC Consolidated Application by the application submission deadline for HUD to consider the CoC Consolidated Application to be complete.  
  • There are six Project Listings in the CoC Priority Listing; however, only the New and Renewal Project Listings require unique rank numbers.  The remaining four Project Listings only require Collaborative Applicants to accept or reject project applications.   
  • The CoC Competition Report, and instructions on how to access the report, that includes data reported in the Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) is available for use by Collaborative Applicants to complete portions of the FY 2023 CoC Application.   

Project Applicants  

  • Returning project applicants may choose to import FY 2023 renewal project application responses; however, this must be requested during your registration of the Renewal Funding Opportunity in e-snaps and is only available if you submitted a project application in the FY 2022 CoC Program Competition. Imported responses must be carefully reviewed to ensure accuracy.  
  • Projects renewing for the first time, that were previously awarded prior to the FY 2022 CoC Program Competition must complete the entire renewal project application.  
  • New project applications must be completed in full and in accordance with the new project application components permitted in this year’s Competition.  
  • YHDP renewal and YHDP replacement project applications must be completed in full and in accordance with the YHDP renewal and YHDP replacement project application processes outlined in the NOFO.  
  • CoC planning and UFA Costs applications will only be reviewed if submitted by the CoC’s designated Collaborative Applicant identified in the CoC Applicant Profile in e-snaps.  
  • Dedicated HMIS projects, renewal and new, can only be submitted by the CoC’s designated HMIS Lead as identified in the CoC Applicant Profile in e-snaps.   

Additional Guidance 

The following additional materials will be posted on the CoC Program Competition page of HUD’s website this month: 

  • FY 2023 CoC Estimated ARD Reports  
  • Detailed Instructions   
  • CoC Application  
  • CoC Priority Listing  
  • Project Applications – all types  
  • Navigational Guides  
  • Accessing the Project Application  
  • New Project Application  
  • Renewal Project Application  
  • UFA Costs Project Application  
  • Planning Costs Project Application  
  • CoC Priority Listing  

Questions  

Questions regarding the FY 2023 CoC Program Competition process must be submitted to CoCNOFO@hud.gov.   

Questions related to e-snaps functionality (e.g., password lockout, access to user’s application account, updating Applicant Profile) must be submitted to e-snaps@hud.gov

NOFA Application Information

November 9, 2021

The application is now available: NOFA Program Competition

Now Available – November 9, 2021: 

October 21, 2021

Now Available – October 21, 2021:

October 12, 2021

Now Available – October 12, 2021:

Resources are available on the HUD.gov CoC Program Competition page and the HUD Exchange e-snaps Resources page.

Submission DeadlineTuesday, November 16, 2021 at 8:00 PM EST

Bidders Conference

GA 505 Bidders Conference – Technical Assistance Workshop 

Application Deadlines

Project Application Instructional Guides

Navigational Guides

Scoring

Financial Declarations Page

Appeals

Priority Listing

Our local HMIS has very robust reporting features.  This allows us to extract data from the system in a very useful way; using the data as a “flashlight” of sorts to help show what is working, and what we can do better.

HMIS stands for “Homeless Management Information System”.  It’s a shared database designed to record and store client-level information on the characteristics and service needs of homeless persons. It’s something that homeless agencies use to coordinate care, manage their operations, and better serve their clients.  It’s a great way we are able to use the power of technology to help both those experiencing homelessness and the agencies trying to help.

Our HMIS encompasses agencies both in Muscogee County GA, and Russell County AL.

While HMIS is a name for the type of system, “ClientTrack” is the specific HMIS our community uses.

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and other planners and policymakers at the federal, state and local levels use aggregate HMIS data to obtain better information about the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Specifically, an HMIS can be used to produce an unduplicated count of homeless persons, understand patterns of service use, and measure the effectiveness of homeless programs. (source: https://www.hudexchange.info/programs/hmis/)

  • Who is in charge of the HMIS?

Home for Good, a program of the United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley, is responsible for implementing our HMIS, as well as organize training’s, user groups, and provide technical support.

  • Who should use HMIS?

HMIS is targeted towards homeless shelters, transitional housing programs for the homeless, permanent supportive housing programs for formerly homeless persons, and other homeless service programs. HMIS is also used by Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing Programs. Some agencies are required to use HMIS if they receive certain types of funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Other homeless programs are encouraged to use HMIS because it helps provide us with a more complete picture of homelessness.

  • What software do you use?

We use ClientTrack, a software solution provider based out of Salt Lake City, UT. You can visit there website to find out more about them: www.clienttrack.net

  • How much does HMIS cost?

HMIS is subsidized by HUD, so there is no cost at all for homeless service providers

  • How do I sign up and how do I get a username?

Anyone wanting to use HMIS will need to attend a New User Training Sessions. You can register for the New User Trainings by visiting the “Training” section of our website. Each person will also need to fill out a copy of the “End-User Agreement”. That document can be found on the “HMIS Starter Kit” page.

  • How many people at our agency can use HMIS?

The amount of allowed users is based on the volume of clients and services. Each person will need to have their own username and cannot share usernames or passwords.

  • Can Domestic Violence programs user HMIS?

No. Domestic violence programs are prohibited from using HMIS according to the Violence Against Women Act of 2005.

  • What if my agency is a faith-based organization?

Faith-based organizations can have the same benefits of using HMIS as any organization. This includes the same access to training, onsite assistance, and technology funds.

  • What is HMIS training like?

A general HMIS training takes about 2 hours. It covers basic HMIS functions like Client Intake, Services, and Discharge. More advanced training is also available. Trainings are conducted in person, and usually we are available to come to you. For larger groups of people, we usually schedule a meeting room at the library on Macon Rd. We are also able to do refresher courses on a case by case basis through joinme.com. These allow ongoing training’s to take place.

  • Who should attend HMIS training?

Everyone at your agency who will be using the HMIS should attend HMIS training, as well as anyone who will be collecting information about your clients using paper surveys.

  • Do I need to have HMIS installed on my computer?

No. HMIS is entirely web-based. All you need is an Internet connection.

  • What are the benefits of using HMIS?

HMIS has many potential benefits, such as:

  • Better coordination of services
  • Less duplication of intake and assessment
  • Track client outcomes
  • Print reports at the touch of a button
  • Analyze data by population, subpopulation, gender, age, etc.
  • Generate an unduplicated count of persons served
  • Educate your community with good, solid, numbers
  • Use data to communicate more effectively with funders and donors
  • Can you give me some specific examples of these benefits?

A supportive housing program analyzed their HMIS data by subpopulation and discovered that clients who were also military veterans had a much shorter length of stay than any other subpopulation. The agency realized there was a need to develop better collaborations with local veteran’s service organizations. This issue would not have been discovered without the ability to analyze data using HMIS.

A homeless program administrator routinely spent over 40 hours preparing their HUD Annual Progress Report (APR). With HMIS, the administrator simply clicks on a button that says “Print APR.” The entire process takes less than five minutes. By using the HMIS, administrative time is significantly reduced, allowing staff to spend more time working directly with the clients.

United Way calls and wants to know the average age of a homeless person in your community. They want to use the information as the centerpiece of their annual giving campaign. HMIS can be used to quickly generate information needed by funders.

  • What are the risks of HMIS?

The main risk of HMIS revolves around privacy and confidentiality. To ensure that information in HMIS is kept secure we regularly audit agencies to make sure they are following all security guidelines. Each user will be given their own username and password and we are able to audit a user’s activity should there be a suspected breach of confidentiality.

HMIS is a Client-Choice system, meaning that the clients have the choice of keeping their data confidential or sharing their information with other partner agencies. Client’s must sign a release in order to share their information. The benefit of sharing information is that other agencies will be able to pull up their data and will not need to ask the same questions each time a client presents for services. However, it is important that staff make sure the client’s understand their rights. More often than not, consumers are more concerned with getting food and shelter than with safeguarding their data and may be willing to sign anything put in front of them if it is not explained carefully in language that they will understand.

The HMIS has several built-in security precautions. First, the HMIS software has a multi-level “permission” structure governed by passwords. A password allows the user to see only the data that is relevant to them. The systems also uses 128 bit encryption technology – the same technology used for online banking – to render the database unreadable to anyone who attempts an unauthorized use of the system. In addition, IHCDA has developed client consent forms (to inform clients of their rights) and Agency Partner Agreements, and a user Code of Ethics to ensure the data is used and collected responsibly. Lastly, the government will not see any client level data.

  • What if I don’t have time to learn a new system?

We understands that adopting a new technology can be a daunting task. HMIS staff is committed to helping your agency implement the HMIS in the way that best integrates with your normal workflow. HMIS is expected to reduce the amount of administrative time spent on a program. Imagine the amount of time you spend preparing summary data for your board meeting, combing through sign-in sheets, tallying up demographics. Using the HMIS, that same report could be printed in less than two minutes. Your agency may choose to use HMIS for a single program for a while, until you are comfortable with the technology. We will be with you each step of the way, whether it is on the phone or onsite at your agency.

  • How can I stay up-to-date with what’s going on with HMIS?

Check out our HMIS Report page on our website as it’s updated with the data we’re able to pull from our HMIS.

  • What do I do if I think that the client is in the system, but they do not show up when I search?

Try searching with broad conditions set for the name. For example if you client’s name is Phillip Johnson, try just search “P” in the first name and “J” in the last name. Then look through the list to see if there is a possible match

If you still don’t see the client, you can try searching for them by just the social security number or just the date of birth.

  • How do I edit the following in ClientTrack?

Basic Client Information

To edit basic client information first find and select the client that you wish to edit and then click on the “Edit Client” menu option in the “Clients” tab. This will pull up a page where you can edit the basic client information. When you have made all of the correction that you need to simply click on the finish button to save the changes to the client record.**NOTE: Please only correct information that you have seen a hard copy record of and know is correct.**

  • When should I log an Issue in ClientTrack?

Issues should typically fall into one of three categories 1) Technical malfunctions of the website 2) Requests for UHMIS staff to delete or change/ something in the system (that you can’t do on your own) 3) Requests to have additional programs, grants, or services built.

  • What is HFG’s protocol for handling issues?

Once you have submitted your issue it is placed into our internal issue queue. Someone from our staff usually reviews and assigns the issues at least once a day. Once assigned a HFG staff member will contact you regarding the issue. Typically this correspondence will be though the issue system with in client track, so please keep an eye on your submitted issues in the system. You can expect that the assigned staff member will make contact with you with in 5 business days.

  • What should I do if there appears to be a duplicate client?

Submit an issue in ClientTrack requesting that staff review the possible duplicate. Please be specific and detailed in your issue.

  • How do I delete a duplicate Enrollment?

Submit an issue in ClientTrack requesting that we delete the duplicate enrollment. Please be specific and detailed in your issue. In example, tell us the dates of the enrollments, the program of the enrollments, tell us which family members need to have the enrollment deleted, why the duplicate enrollment occurred. Make it as obvious as possible for staff which enrollment you want deleted.

First Tuesdays | 3:00 pm
Click here if you would like an invitation for the next meeting.

COC Semi-Annual Meeting
February 2024 Slides

COC Semi-Annual Meeting
February 2023 Recording  |  Slides | Annual Report

COC Annual Membership Meeting
August 2023 Slides | New Membership Application