HMIS Upgrade Updates

Dear HMIS and CoC Partners,

I know so many of you are and have been working diligently over the last several weeks in direct response to urgent and emerging needs in our homeless communities surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic and your local response. Thank you for all you are doing in the field – I pray that you remain healthy and safe while you are actively working to serve our most vulnerable in PA.

I want to provide you with a short update on where DCED and our partners at Eccovia/ClientTrack are in the upgrade and transition to the new HMIS-ClientTrack.19 to meet HUD’s required coordinated entry data standards. As many of you are likely aware, as a result of the current situation, HUD has extended the deadline for the CES transition from April 1, 2020 to October 1, 2020. While this offered a small amount of breathing room in our upgrade, it has not slowed the activity we are undertaking with Eccovia, because we know how critical some of these upgrades will be to your continued success in utilizing the system locally and becoming confident with the new screens and tools available.

At this time, the tentative plan is to upgrade ClientTrack on or about May 1, 2020. We will be working with our team and CES managers to finalize the HMIS Security Protocols, participate in administrator training at the DCED level and begin a “Train the Trainer” series that will end with direct service providers who use ClientTrack to receive training before the launch.

We are coordinating with Eccovia to provide training dates in mid-late April. Please know that we are mindful of the fluid situation that many of our users are experiencing in the field and we will do our best to be sensitive to that during the training period.

During this extended implementation time-period we have also extended the ability of our ESG subgrantees to submit invoices in HMIS. We will provide notification to subgrantees when the processing of ESG invoices in HMIS will need to be suspended as a result of the upgrade.

Our team is reviewing these timetables weekly and will be sure to keep you informed as we move forward.

Thank you again for your amazing support and for all that you are doing in our communities every day.

All my best to you for continued health and safety.

Kathy Possinger

Eastern PA CoC’s Statement Related to Operating Procedures and COVID-19

The Eastern PA CoC’s Governing Board conducted a teleconference meeting yesterday and are providing the below guidance and resources.

1) No face-to-face CoC-related meetings should occur before May 1st.  Any official meetings of the CoC must be conducted via teleconference or video conference.

2) The CoC’s next General Membership is scheduled to occur April 20th.  This meeting will be conducted as a virtual online meeting with an abbreviated agenda, which will include an opportunity for attendees to converse with one another about their community/ program response to the Coronavirus.

3) In order to share information about resources and current practices, facilitate conversation, etc., a new COVID-19 Workplace page has been established.  Please direct your COVID-19 questions and ideas to this page.  We will be sharing ideas that we have heard from the PA Balance of State CoCs, emergency responses being implemented by CoCs from around the country, new resources made available by HUD and other funders, etc.

  • If you already have a Workplace account and would like to join the COVID-19 Response group, please click this link https://fb.me/g/13n6F2KzE/NEwJHMZC
  • If you do not already have a Workplace account and would like to join the CoC’s online community to receive critical news related to the CoC and COVID-19, please send an email to Brendan Auman at breauman@pa.gov that indicates our name, email, and county that you work in to be added.

We know this is a stressful time for everyone and hope that the new Workplace page provides us with an opportunity to support each other as we learn to navigate through our new reality.  Please join the conversation and stay safe.

Eastern PA CoC Governance Charter Updates Open for Comment through April 6, 2020 at 5pm

HUD’s CoC Interim Rule, under section § 578.7 Responsibilities of the Continuum of Care, requires the CoC to annually update the CoC’s Governance Charter.

The Governance Committee has reviewed and updated the Charter and is publishing the draft version to the CoC for review and comment. You can view the proposed draft charter here.

Please review the document and send any comments, questions, or concerns to the CoC’s email address at easterncoc@pennsylvaniacoc.org by April 6, 2020 at 5 p.m.

The final vote to approve the Charter will take place at our next General Membership meeting which is currently scheduled to take place on April 20, 2020. Please note that the CoC’s Governing Board will be meeting on March 19th to determine if this meeting will be postponed or only occur via teleconference. More information will be provided as details are finalized

Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers Webinar Update: Materials Posted and Upcoming Office Hours

HUD’s Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) apologizes for the technical difficulties and cancellation of the Infectious Disease Preparedness for Homeless Assistance Providers and Their Partners webinar scheduled for March 10, 2020. Due to the high volume of interest, the 75-minute presentation has been recorded and can be accessed on the HUD Exchange training page.

There will be a live question and answer session with presenters in the very near future. Please review the webinar content before this question and answer session and pay attention to this listserv for additional information.

Additional Resources

  • Visit the Infectious Disease Prevention & Response page to access technical assistance materials from HUD as well as guidance issued from HUD’s federal partners dedicated to preparing for and responding to infectious diseases, including COVID-19.
  • HUD is also available to provide technical assistance to our homeless assistance providers who need support in preventing or responding to the spread of infectious disease. Submit your questions to the Ask A Question (AAQ) portal. In Step 2 of the question submission process, select “CoC: Continuum of Care Program” from the “My question is related to” drop down list and write “Health Preparedness and Response” in the subject line.

Join Us for the Western CoC Youth Count 2020!

One by One, the Western PA Continuum of Care (CoC) works to prevent and end homelessness.

Join the Western PA CoC in our first Youth Count from April 22-24. The Youth Count is a community-wide effort to better identify youth aged 16-24 experiencing homelessness or unstable housing within our 20-county region and advocate for more resources.

You can help by raising awareness or volunteering to join a street team that will be composed of volunteers and youth guides. Teams will approach young people in the community at assigned “hotspot” locations and encourage youth to complete a brief electronic survey about their housing situation.

If you are participating in the Youth Count, or would like to, please join us for a webinar on Wednesday, March 25th from 10am-12pm. The webinar will provide participants with an overview of the Youth Count, an introduction to the survey tool and techniques on how to engage with young people experiencing homelessness.

Click here to register for the webinar.