JOB POSTING: Pathways MISI, MT HMIS Technical Assistance Specialist

This position will provide the MT Continuum of Care and Homeless Management Information System community with user support, on-site technical assistance and community support.

Link to full position details

Applicant Requirements

Bachelor’s degree in a public policy, human services or training related field, or equivalent experience.Expertise in the use of common office software.Demonstrated familiarity with use of Internet-based applications, including HMIS software. Specific experience with ServicePoint and Google Data Studio a plus.Two years or more of help desk experience. Excellent writing/editing skills; strong attention to detail.Proven ability to communicate effectively with others, verbally and in writing.Proven ability to build and maintain strong, positive working relationships.Availability and flexibility for travel. Valid Driver’s license and vehicle insurance.

Application review will begin July 20 and remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

2018 HUD Notice of Funding Availability

The FY 2018 CoC Program Competition is now open. Potential project applicants must go through local CoCs.
Project applications must be reviewed locally and submitted electronically into the HUD eSNAPS system by August 15th.
The full HUD Notice of Funding Availability can be found via this link.
The 2017 Scoring and Ranking criteria are available here for reference only. The 2018 criteria are under developed and will be posted as soon as possible.
For more information:

HMIS Update – May 31, 2018

File Migration Test
Pathways MISI was notified by Mediware on 5/30 that the second batch test was not entirely successful; one of the three test files is causing an error and they don’t expect to know what the problem is until sometime next week.

Launch Date
Given that a successful test migration is required before Mediware will put us into the migration queue and that Northrup Grumman will also need a couple of weeks to schedule any necessary development/changes, the June 12th launch date will need to be pushed back to the end of June. We will follow-up with an update as soon as we know anything further.

Northrup Grumman have been very responsive to any file changes and we are coordinating with the MT DPHHS to ensure that data entry into the legacy NG system can continue through the month of June. We will also update HUD Denver (which has extended SAGE APR deadlines to July 15th ) and will request an additional extension if necessary, just as soon as we know more.

Release of Information Agreement
A final RoI Agreement (aka Data Sharing Agreement) has been fastidiously developed by the Coordinated Entry Buildout Team and is going through a final legal review. We hope it will be completed within the week.

Coordinated Entry Buildout in HMIS
After working with a the former ServicePoint lead developer over the past couple of weeks, they have figured out a way to “buildout” Coordinated Entry components, including the By Name List reporting functions, requested by our CE Buildout Team. We are also fortunate to be able to share this development cost with two other CoCs.

Phase 2 Provider Configuration Worksheet
Following Provider Profile sheets which were completed back in March and asked for minimal but mandatory information needed to set up accounts in ServicePoint, a phase 2 “Configuration Worksheet” is being sent in the next day or two. This is not HUD required information, but agencies are highly encouraged to fill these out to get the greatest benefit from the system by configuring it to meet users’ needs. Just a “heads-up,” the ServicePoint nomenclature can be a little off-putting. Entities using HMIS are “providers” and agency level providers are called the parent while any subordinate agencies or programs are called “children.” Thus, an HRDC can be a parent with two children, i.e. a CoC RRH program and an ESG RRH program. Children are entities or programs, not people.

Agency Agreements (Pathways MISI and Local Agencies)
Pathways MISI sent Agency Agreements out today to every organization that is migrating to the new system. HUD requires that HMIS Lead Agencies (Pathways MISI is Montana’s new “lead agency,”) have participation agreements with every organization that accesses the HMIS. Two copies need to be signed and sent to Pathways MISI by June 10th.

HMIS Implementation Update – May 11, 2018

As expected, our implementation targets are changing to accommodate all the moving parts. In short, data migration progress has picked up a bit and Coordinated Entry has slipped a bit so that we are now looking at ending Data Input into the current system on June 1st and a “Go-Live” date of the new system on June 12th . In between these times, HMIS users can use the system to enter new clients, but prior data won’t be present in the system until June 12th.

Here’s more update information:

Planning and Organization
We are in the process of contracting with an experienced ServicePoint developer to supplement our team as we build By Name List reports required for Coordinated Entry. We expect to have this developer on board on Monday.

Regulatory Requirements
Drafts of the HMIS Release of Information and agency Privacy Notice forms have been posted for public comment. Drafts of the template for the HUD-required agreement between HMIS user agencies and the HMIS Lead have been prepared and are being considered by the CoC Lead. Once public comments on the forms have been collected and considered, and agencies have received and executed the final version of the HMIS Lead/Agency agreement, all HUD required HMIS-related agreements will be in place.

HMIS Configuration
Basic configuration of all HMIS participating projects is complete. Configuration of services QuickLists for each provider will begin this week.

Data Migration
A second set of test files from the Northrop Grumman HMIS has been queued for testing at Mediware. Issues with the first test files were promptly addressed by Northop Grumman. This process is on schedule.

Coordinated Entry
Functional requirements have been created for assessments/questionnaires and reporst/lists required by the Coordinated Entry process, and are now being reviewed by the Coordinated Entry Buildout Team. We will use these requirements to estimate the time and other resources necessary to develop and configure the functionality required to implement the current Coordinated Entry process in HMIS.

Training activities will begin when we are closer to launch.

HMIS Implementation Update – April 4, 2018

The MT CoC signed a contract on March 15th with Pathways MISI to implement a new HMIS in Montana.  The contract includes a very compressed implementation timeline, but we are on track to meet the targeted launch date of May 11th.

This is the first of weekly updates (along with Pathways GANNTT Implementation Timeline) that will be posted to the CoC Website.

HMIS Implementation Schedule Update (GANNTT chart)

HMIS Configuration
Provider Worksheets (profile forms) returned to Pathways by currently active HMIS projects in MT were used to setup projects in ServicePoint.  Projects that are no longer active but were in the past three years have also been identified and are being setup in ServicePoint using default settings.  All projects are initially being configured for new system launch using basic default settings and Pathways MISI will begin working with local agencies after the launch to finalize specific agency configurations.

Regulatory Compliance

Pathways MISI is developing a simple HMIS Lead – Local Agency agreement for the Montana HMIS implementation and will send it to agencies after it is reviewed by and approved by the CoC. Target date for CoC approval is April 18th and agencies will be asked to sign and return to Pathways by April 27th.  Pathways MISI will also send agencies information on HUD agency-level HMIS security and privacy requirements.

Coordinated Entry Configuration

A CoC Coordinated Entry Buildout Team will be meeting with Pathways in Bozeman on April 15th and 16th to work through how CE will be configured or setup in Mediware’s ServicePoint system.

Data Sharing Consent Agreement

HUD TA consultants are collaborating to draft a Montana data sharing release form that will soon be available for review and comment prior to final adoption by the CoC.

Data Migration

Northrup Grumman is scheduled to deliver three HMIS test data files (one each from CoC-PSH, CoC-RRH and ESG-RRH) to Pathways MISI on April 5th.  These will allow Pathways to see raw data in order to confirm that the way projects are set up in HMIS will translate easily to ServicePoint.

Data Cleaning Training

Pathways MISI is also being granted direct but limited access to the same three test agencies so that they can prepare customized data quality training for HMIS users.  The training is scheduled for 4/30 to 5/04 and will be designed to show users how to clean as much HMIS data as possible to minimize technical issues during migration. We are awaiting DPHHS access approval.

HMIS User Training

Live webinar training for agency administrators and end users is scheduled will be provided May 7, 8 and 9th, and recorded webinar training will also be available for anyone not available during these date.

Targeted Launch Date

The target date to “Go Live” to ServicePoint is May 11th.  Because this is the most compressed timeline for migrating to a new system ever experienced by a vendor, a contingency has been arranged with DPHHS to keep the current HMIS operating past this date, if necessary, in order to obviate any blackout periods.

Sage HMIS Reporting Repository

Beginning on April 1, 2017, Continuum of Care (CoC) homeless assistance grant recipients must submit their Annual Performance Report (APR) data through a new online database – the Sage HMIS Reporting Repository (Sage). Communities will no longer submit APRs in e-snaps. This change in systems applies to all CoC homeless assistance grants (e.g., Supportive Housing Program, Shelter Plus Care, Section 8 Moderate Rehabilitation Single Room Occupancy Program, CoC Program) administered by the Office of Special Needs Assistance Programs (SNAPS) – regardless of when they were initially funded.

To receive access to Sage, recipient staff need to access the Sage portal ( and enter the contact information and the recipient affiliation (i.e., CoC). The CoC Primary Contact, who is the person identified by the Collaborative Applicant in the FY2016 CoC Program Registration as the Primary Contact, will then need to approve all users. The CoC Primary Contact will be notified when a user requests access and the user will be notified when the CoC authorizes that user’s access. The CoC Primary Contact should regularly access Sage and approve user access. HUD recommends that recipients provide CoC Primary Contacts a list of users they want approved for Sage access.

CoC APR Resources

Sage CoC APR Guidebook
Sage CoC APR Templates
Create an Account in Sage Video
Overview of the Sage HMIS Repository Webinar