The New HMIS
As I have pointed out many times, we are great at making plans, and not great at follow up.
I went back through my files and found this. In 1999-2000 we had another strategic planning group (The Collaborative) that created the HMIS. Below are the details of what we intended HMIS to be, taken exactly from the final report:
WHAT WILL BE THE BENEFITS OF AN HMIS TO HOMELESS INDIVIDUALS AND FAMILIES, AGENCIES PROVIDING SERVICES, AND THE COMMUNITY
- Homeless individuals and families will see a decrease in duplicative intakes, streamlined referrals, coordinated case management, and improved benefit eligibility assessment.
- Local agencies providing services to the clients will see improved tracking of client outcomes, coordinated services both internally among agency programs and externally with other community social service providers, assistance with preparation of financial and programmatic reports, and comprehensive information for making program design decisions
- Local communities and public policy makers will have a better understanding of the extent and scope of homelessness, assistance with identifying service gaps, informing systems design and policy decisions, and development of a forum for addressing community-wide issues
Sadly none of this has been accomplished with the current HMIS software. Even the last item, a better understanding and scope fails because of the non-compliance issue.
FINALLY all of those will be accomplished when the HMIS board replaces the current Bowman System software with the Refer7 software.
They have no choice.
Several agencies have already committed to use Refer7 and jettison the Bowman software, in fact 4 agencies to date that have seen the demo of Refer7 have made that decision.
Why? Because Refer7 delivers what a customer service system should deliver. It truly will help the agencies not only in tracking the 17 required Fed mandated data points to get federal funding, it will actually help the agency save time and help the people they serve, the homeless.
Every case manager will no longer have to go out to find what all is available and how to access it, it all will be delivered to the screen in real time.
The coolest thing here in my opinion is the agencies are choosing a system that TRULY works for them, rather than a clunky system that is simply a burden that was thrust on them and they were ordered to use, or lose their funding.
1Matters Saturday Morning Meeting
The meeting is back @ Cherry Street this Saturday, 8 am. This week we want to finalize the medical and mental health concepts and direction, as well as start talking about ideas for barriers to jobs, including getting interviews, ID cards, fixed addresses, voicemail, email correspondence, clothes, PO Boxes, dress and work clothes, haircuts and grooming, storage areas for back backs etc.
Nothing solves poverty and homelessness better than a good paying job!
Angel Food Ministry
Earlier this week United Way publicized the results of the Hunger Task Force. Among the findings 211 showed that 40% of all requests for help are for food. In the richest and most bountiful nation in the world, families are going hungry in our communities.
Cedar Creek Sr. Pastor Lee Powell got into “emergency mode” and is responding immediately. I was volunteered to help Cedar Creek get set up as one of the host sites for Angel Food Ministries asap.
AFM is a ministry that provides $60 worth of food for $30, once a month. There are several churches already participating in the program. There is no income requirement, if you are hungry you can get fed. Please spread this word to anybody that is hungry.
We are planning a huge hub and spoke. The Perrysburg Campus will be the drop site feeding the Toledo and Whitehouse campuses, as well as Cherry Street Mission.
If any of you would like to step up and become volunteer leaders for this, whether or not you go to Cedar Creek, let me know.
And if you would like to start this up at your church contact Angelfood Ministries directly. On Saturday, April 19th from 7.30 – Noon, Dane Price the Ohio coordinator with AFM will be in town to train leaders for any and all churches in the area. The training will be at Cedar Creek Perrysburg Campus. Stay tuned.. more to follow.