DV

HMIS Comparable Databases Policy

Overview

Most projects funded by the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, and certain other funding sources that fund activities for people experiencing homelessness are required to record and maintain their participants' data in ServicePoint, the LA BOSCOC's designated HMIS.

Victim services providers and legal services providers are exempt from the above requirement. Instead, they are each required to establish and operate a comparable database that complies with HUD's HMIS requirements.

Victim Services Providers

Victim services providers that are funded by the CoC Program are required to use EmpowerDB as their HMIS-comparable database.

Certain other funding sources, including the ESG Program as funded by the Louisiana Housing Corporation, may require victim services providers to use EmpowerDB as their HMIS-comparable database. Please check with your program managers for more information.

Legal Services Providers

Legal services providers that are funded by the CoC Program are not required to use a specific database as their HMIS-comparable database.

More Information

For more information, including implementation timeline requirements, please refer to the actual policy as posted on the Members section of the LA BOSCOC website.

LA BOSCOC Board Outcomes - 7/11/18

Overview

The Board met by phone on 7/11/18 to review and approve the Request for Proposals (RFP) and scoring tools for the Funding Year 2018 (FY18) Continuum of Care (CoC) Program Competition. It also voted to approve an HMIS-comparable database for projects that serve victims of domestic violence and to approve opening a limited set of HMIS data to the other CoCs in the State of Louisiana.

Attendance

  • Nicole Sweazy, Louisiana Housing Corporation
  • Eric Gammons, HMIS Lead
  • Homeless Experience Representative
  • Brooke Guidry, Houma
  • Tarek Polite, Lake Charles
  • Gail Gowland, Plaquemines/St. Bernard
  • Randy Nichols, Membership and Rules Committee (non-voting)
  • Gordon Levine, Continuum of Care Manager (non-voting)
  • Clay Boykin, HMIS Specialist (non-voting)

FY18 CoC Program Competition

The Board voted to approve the RFP and all other documents posted here: https://laboscoc.org/fy18-coc-program-competition

The Board also voted to approve up to $100,000 in funding for a Coordinated Entry (SSO-CES) project hosted by St. Bernard Battered Women's Program, which for the last year has served as the sole Coordinated Entry access point in the Plaquemines/St. Bernard Region and the sole Coordinated Entry access point operated by a domestic violence (DV) service provider. These funds will be made available from the LA BOSCOC's total DV Bonus amount of $466,959, and any funds not claimed by this project will be added to the LA BOSCOC's competitive DV Funding Pool of $366,959 as described on Page 5 of the RFP.

HMIS-Comparable Database for DV Providers

DV service providers funded by the CoC Program, the Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) Program, and by certain other funding sources are required to use an HMIS-comparable database instead of HMIS (ServicePoint).

The Board has approved the Domestic Violence Service Providers Working Group's proposal that the LA BOSCOC require that DV service providers use EmpowerDB as their HMIS-comparable database. This requirement will go into effect January 1, 2019, and will be retroactive for all participant data collected during contract periods beginning before January 1, 2019 and extending into January 1, 2019.

The LA BOSCOC will release a formal policy to this effect once the language has been vetted by the chairs of the HMIS Committee and Domestic Violence Service Providers Working Group.

You can find more information about EmpowerDB here: https://www.empowerdb.com/

HMIS Data Visibility

The Board has voted to make certain HMIS data elements visible to all other CoCs in the State of Louisiana.

This change was proposed during the most recent statewide Homelessness Working Group meeting. Currently, a given participant's data is only visible to organizations within the CoC where they presented for services. If a participant traveled to another part of the State, they would be required to provide their information again, and the new CoC would be unable to view the housing and services that participant had previously received. 

The representatives of each CoC that was present at the Homelessness Working Group meeting agreed to propose to their Boards that the following data elements from their CoC's participants be made visible to other Louisiana CoCs:

  • Participants' first and last name
  • Last four digits of participants' social security number
  • Entry and exit dates for participants' HMIS service transactions

All participant data will continue to be protected by HMIS releases of information and confidentiality agreements, which are implemented statewide by the Louisiana Services Network Data Consortium and are identical for all Louisiana CoCs.