Carolina Homeless Information Network A program of the North Carolina Housing Coalition Tue, 13 Jan 2015 16:02:45 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Java Update for ART 3.1 Tue, 13 Jan 2015 15:34:55 +0000 With ART 3.1 BSI announces support for Java 7 (Update 72).  ART 3.1 will support Java 7 but will not support Java 8.   NOTE:  You may not have both Java 6 and Java 7 installed simultaneously as this will cause issues in ART 3.1 and ART 3.0.

The below instructions will explain how to upgrade from Java 6 to Java 7 and how to prevent the upgrade to Java 8 (please do not attempt to upgrade to Java 7 until after Noon on January 17th or later):

1) Download Java 7 Update 72 from this link
2) Please download this file: “Windows x86 Offline”
3) Close all browsers
4) Uninstall all currently installed Java versions/updates
5) Install Java 7 Update 67
6) Open Windows Control Panel
7) Double-click on Java icon
8) Go to Update tab
9) Un-check the “Check for Updates Automatically” box
10) “Java Update – Warning” box will appear and click on “Do Not Check”
11) Close Java Control Panel using “OK” button
12) Re-open browser and access ServicePoint/ART

Steps 8-10 will ensure Java 8 doesn’t automatically install on the computer. The “Windows x86 Offline” version is the 32-bit version of Java. This version will work on both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows.”

]]> 0
Online Video Series is here! Mon, 15 Dec 2014 22:31:45 +0000 Online videos are available for certification training and technical assistance! In conjunction with the Governance Committee, CHIN has released a series of training videos that can be used for certification training or technical assistance.  If you are already a certified end user, and you’ve successfully passed the HMIS Data Standards Quiz, you do not have to sign up for online training.  This video series is intended to replace the face-to-face training sessions that CHIN used to hold.

CHIN will no longer provide face-to-face training sessions.  You’ll still have to register for training on our website, and you’ll have to have CoC-approval in order to get a license.  Here’s a brief run down of the new training process:

  1.  Register online
  2.  You’ll receive a confirmation email
  3.  CHIN staff will confirm license availability with your CoC-lead
  4.  If your license is approved, CHIN will send you an email with a link to an online video series, quizzes, and your end user contract.  Please note–there are 13 videos and 3 quizzes in the certification process.  You must watch all the videos and pass all the quizzes in order to get your log in information.
  5.  Once you pass the quizzes, email CHIN with your signed end user contract.  We’ll confirm your success passing the quiz, and send you everything you need to log in and enter data into ServicePoint!

Please note that starting May 1, 2015,  the CHIN HMIS will be administered by a new agency.  As part of the transition, new training may be required for some/all users.  Your CoC and the CHIN Governance Committee will be providing more information about this in the coming months.  If you have any questions about this, please contact your CoC’s representative to the CHIN Governance Committee: CHIN Governance Committee

Here’s the link to the training registration page:

Also, the same videos are available as solutions via Phaseware/Self Service Center for reference and technical assistance.  You need access to the Self Service Center in order to initially access the videos.  Here’s the links:

1.  CHIN End User Training: Intro to CHIN &

2. CHIN Training Series:  Statement of Privacy Practices

3. CHIN End User Training: Client Consent

4. CHIN End User Training:  The Training Site

5. CHIN End User Training:  Client Profiles & Households

6. CHIN End User Training: Release of Information (ROI)

7. CHIN End User Training:  Project Entry

8. CHIN End User Training: Interim Assessments & Followups

9. CHIN End User Training:  Service Transactions

10. CHIN End User Training:  Referrals

11 . CHIN End User Training:  Project Exit

12 . CHIN End User Training:  ShelterPoint



]]> 0
January News Thu, 04 Dec 2014 21:01:43 +0000 Important January News Updates! 

ART unavailable afternoon-evening Friday January 16

Bowman Systems will be upgrading to ART 3.1 on Friday evening, January 16.  As part of the upgrade, ART will be unavailable from late Friday afternoon through Saturday January 17.

AFTER the ART upgrade is complete on January 17th, all ART users will need to switch versions of Java on their computer. ART users will need to uninstall all currently installed versions and install Java 7 update 72.   Our website has more details from Bowman on how to do this. Remember, do not attempt to change Java versions before the afternoon of January 17th.


Online Training Videos

Online training is now available for both Certification and ART.  You can register for these trainings here.

If you’re just looking for a refresher, or need to brush up on certain data entry skills, you can access all training videos via solutions in the Self Service Center.  Visit our website for more information on accessing the videos.


Point in Time Count

PIT and HIC Guides, Tools, and Webinars from HUD are available here.

CHIN will provide the HMIS PIT report when it becomes available from the software vendor.  We expect to have it in early February.  CHIN will provide instructions on how to run and review the report.  We’ll notify you of its availability via a special newsletter and our website.

In the meantime, you can ensure your HMIS data is complete and accurate.  To do so, the CHIN Data Committee recommends using the following reports:

  • Rapid re-housing (RRH) projects:  RAW_Client_Entries_and_Interims_By_Provider_C-1.3 report (in the 1-Raw Data Reports folder).  RRH projects should ensure that the fields “In Permanent Housing” and “If Yes, Date of Move-In” are complete and accurate for the RRH clients that have been placed in permanent housing.
  • All other projects: Data completeness report card.

Please note that these reports do not constitute a full check of all the data used in the Point in Time report.



0629 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and 0628 HIC Supplement reports will be available in early Feb from the software vendor.  CHIN will make them available as soon as we receive them.


Raw Data Reports Released

The Raw Data Reports by Providers reports have been moved from the 1- DRAFT Reports folder to the production folders.  The reports include fields on the project entry screen and have been updated to include the fields that were added with the 2014 HMIS Data Standards. These reports can be used to clean up and update the new data standards fields for clients who were enrolled in your project on 10/1/14.

]]> 0
2014 HMIS Data Standards Impact on Reports Tue, 18 Nov 2014 14:49:17 +0000 After the update to the 2014 HMIS Data Standards was completed, CHIN evaluated existing reports to determine which reports need to be updated for the new data standards. The CHIN Data Committee will prioritize the modifications needed. The list of reports and update status is available here.

That file indicates whether a report has been updated (blue shading), is not impacted (green shading), has not been tested AND may be removed from the system per the CHIN Data Committee’s approval (grey shading), or is waiting for further updates (no shading). If your agency uses one of the reports that has not been tested and may be removed from ART, please contact CHIN.

Data Completeness Report Card
The 0252 Data Completeness Report Card has been updated to incorporate the changes to the U.S. Veteran question. Bowman is updating the report to incorporate the rest of the changes in the 2014 HMIS Data Standards. Look for announcements about the new report when released.

Monthly Data Completeness Report Card – Due to the changes in the report following the new standards upgrade, the scheduled Monthly Data Completeness Report Card will no longer be sent to each ART user’s inbox each month. If you would like to receive a monthly report, you will need to reschedule it.

The report is available in the Scheduling/Reports for end users folder in ART. Directions for how to schedule this report are in the link below. Please note that Bowman is working on further updates to this report. Whenever Bowman updates the report, users will have to re-schedule the report.
Click here for instructions for how to schedule the report.

]]> 0
ServicePoint Upgraded and SSVF Export in CSV Now Available Fri, 07 Nov 2014 16:00:50 +0000 Friday, November 7, ServicePoint was upgraded to v5.11.5.  This version has the SSVF export available in CSV format.

Below is more information from the VA Repository Staff:

“The Repository is now open for uploads; we apologize for the delay. The upload deadline this month will be very flexible.

Please use the Upload FY15 Data form (first link on the User Options menu in the Repository) for all uploads. Please DO NOT upload using the Upload CSV or Upload XML forms. Even if an upload using these forms is accepted by the Repository, it will not count as a successful upload for November.

You need a separate Repository program for each separate export you have to produce in order to generate a complete data set for your grant. If you need to add or remove Repository programs for your grant, please contact

The Repository can only process FY15 data exported from your HMIS in the HMIS CSV 4.0 format. This is a new export format for your HMIS application. If you don’t know if your HMIS has — or is working on — an HMIS CSV 4.0 export process, please check with your HMIS Lead. We told HMIS vendors that they would have a week or so at the end of October to test their new export processes with the new Repository validation processes, but that didn’t happen because of late uploads for FY14 data. As a result, they may have a few bugs to work out, which is totally reasonable. Again, the deadline this month will be very flexible.

Please contact if you need assistance with your upload and/or with adding or removing Repository programs.”

]]> 0
2014 HMIS Data Standards Mon, 08 Sep 2014 06:10:48 +0000 Any CHIN users who have not watched the training webinar and passed the quiz, can still do so.  Use the links below, and then email to let us know you’ve passed the quiz.  We’ll check the results and get your license reinstated.

Important Links:

Training Video (approx 40 min)   – Please watch this first!

Training slides (PDF format) – Slides can be used to review concepts in the training video

Quiz- Please be sure to watch the training video first.  Each user will have only 5 attempts to pass the test.

New Intake Form (ESG, HUD, CoC, HOPWA), updated as of 9/30/14, 2:30pm, with HOPWA questions 

New SSVF Intake Form

New PATH Intake Form

4.14. Services Provided Crosswalk (PATH, RHY, HOPWA, SSVF)

4.15 Financial Assistance Provided Crosswalk (HOPWA, SSVF)

4.16 Referrals Provided v1 (PATH)

New HMIS Cheat Sheet v5.11 (includes Service Transactions)

New SSVF Cheat Sheet v5.11

Contact or 877.703.3176 if you have questions regarding users who have passed the test 

Link to 2014 HUD Data Standards Manual

The 2014 HMIS Standards released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will go into effect in CHIN HMIS on October 1.

Why is this important? 

On October 1, 2014 you will see many changes in HMIS. There are new response categories for all mandatory HUD fields, major changes to universal data elements (UDEs), and program specific data elements among others.

All CHIN users, intake personnel, and executive directors of CHIN participating agencies must be familiar with the new standards in order to ensure accurate client data is being captured in the HMIS.  In order to maintain high data quality for the network, the CHIN Governance Committee has made this training mandatory.

Who should participate? 

  • All CHIN Users: All individuals who have a license, including those who only use their license to run reports or monitor other staff’s data entry.
  • Intake Personnel: Staff who gather information that is put into HMIS. It is essential that the front-line staff that are doing the intake with clients understand the questions and definitions in order to obtain accurate information.
  • Executive Staff: Staff such as executive directors who do not collect data but interact with data through the supervision of data entry or reviewing and using reports.

Is participation required? 

Yes!  Ensuring quality data begins with ensuring that all we all have the same understanding of data standards.

How can users maintain access to HMIS? 

Follow these steps before October 8th at 11:59PM:

  • View the online training video
  • Take and pass a quiz at the end of the training
  • You may review the training and retake the quiz as many times as needed in order to learn and retain the information

All CHIN users must watch the online training video and pass the quiz by 11:59PM on October 8th or their access to the HMIS will be suspended.

Note that you will see new prompts in HMIS beginning Oct 1. It is recommended to review the training before entering data after Oct 1. 


What if I don’t pass the quiz by October 8th? 

CHIN staff will suspend your access to HMIS. In order to maintain access to HMIS you must complete training and pass the quiz.

If your access is suspended you will need to review the training and pass the quiz. Once you pass the quiz, CHIN staff will reinstate your access within 3 business days.


How can I access the training and quiz?

The training and quiz will be conducted via online videos that you can watch at your convenience beginning September 22 at these links:

HMIS Standards Training (available starting Sept 22)

HMIS Standards Quiz (available Sept 22)

If you have additional questions please contact the CHIN Help Desk (support@nchomeless.org1-877-703-3176).

]]> 0
CHIN News-June 2014 Mon, 02 Jun 2014 13:19:29 +0000 CHIN Program Changes

Due to a recent restructuring of the CHIN program, we will be saying goodbye to three of our staff at the end of June. Thurston Alexander-Smith started in our Help Desk and Advanced Technical Support departments.  He then transferred his skills over to the Reports Department where he was responsible for ART trainings, report formats, and reports technical assistance.  He did all of this while raising the bar for fashion in CHIN staff. Elizabeth Lockley initially joined CHIN as a part-time report writer, a role that grew as we received more requests for custom reports. Her knowledge of database reports and Microsoft Excel have been immensely valuable to the project. Dr. Rob Tripp has been with CHIN since the early days. He started as a Regional ”do everything” Coordinator, moved to specializing in communications and membership management, and has been the lead in compiling the ESG report. In addition to his daily work with CHIN, Rob presented at several National Human Service Data Consortium conferences.

Remaining CHIN staff will be providing the technical assistance, report training, and membership management services previously provided by these staff members. We appreciate your patience during this time of transition. Please join us in thanking Thurston, Elizabeth, and Rob for their years of service to the HMIS and the CHIN program. 


Bed Utilization Tool Available

CHIN has created a new tool to assist CoC’s in tracking monthly bed utilization rates for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), Emergency Shelter (ES), and Transitional Housing (TH) program types. The tool includes features such as:

  • Simply add the data points and the table does the rest–no equations needed
  • Make graphs that automatically update when data is filtered, added, or edited
  • A special column that allows CoCs to add their own customized group structure for easy filtering and display
  • Rates that are displayed both per program and by program type
  • Table Screenshot directions that allow for quick troubleshooting

The new Bed Utilization Rate Tool is available for you in the Downloads section of the CHIN Self-Service Center.


Solution of the Month

Is there a way to keep a list of clients that I’m providing case management for, so I can quickly access their files?

There are two ways to do this in ServicePoint. You can use the Favorites function – it lets you easily create this list and lets you quickly go to the first 10 clients files on the list using hyperlinks.

Or, you can use the Case Manager function (along with the “My Clients” Counts report) if you have a longer list of clients.

For more information on this subject view the following solutions:

]]> 0
CHIN News-May 2014 Mon, 05 May 2014 12:44:11 +0000 Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) Trainings

North Carolina communities have organized two trainings on the full Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool (SPDAT) for case workers  in June. The SPDAT is a tool that can help CoCs improve intake processes and learn how to use existing resources to help individuals and families access programs and services best aligned to end their homelessness. These trainings, conducted by OrgCode Consulting's Iain De Jong, go beyond the general overview of the SPDAT provided earlier this year and will be a great opportunity to understand how the tool functions, learn how to use it, and answer your questions.

 June 3 – Asheville and Forsyth CoC training in Asheville – this training is full

 June 4 – open to all – Greensboro 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

The registration fee for non-Guilford attendees is $75 but CHIN will cover the cost of the training for the first 33 to register.  All individuals from outside of Guilford County are asked to pay a $10 lunch fee to attend the training. Register at this link:

Bed Utilization Tool Available the Week of May 5

A tool to help monitor program and CoC-wide bed utilization rates throughout the year will be available to communities next week.  Be sure to check our website's home page for the news.

Final 2014 HMIS Data Standards Released

Final 2014 HMIS Data Standards were released on May 1, 2014. Two documents, the 2014 HMIS Data Dictionary and the 2014 HMIS Data Manual, comprise the 2014 Data Standards, and are the product of a collaboration between the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Department of Health and Human Services(HHS) and the Department of Veterans Affairs(VA). This collaboration aims to standardize data collection on homeless individuals and families across systems.

The HMIS Data Dictionary is intended for HMIS vendors and system administrators while the HMIS Data Manual is intended as a reference for community members, HMIS staff, and HMIS users.

The standards will go into effect on October 1, 2014.  In the next few months, HUD and its federal partners will release additional guidance and information related to the standards.  In order to assist communities and agencies with the update, CHIN will be releasing new instructional documents and tools to make sure that users understand these changes in anticipation of the effective date.  

Training Tip

Always search before entering your client’s data into ServicePoint!  As a state-wide network, there’s a reasonable chance that your client’s file could already be in the HMIS.  Even if it’s a child, always search before adding a new client file to the system.  After searching, look for your client in the Client Results table, checking to see if you see someone with the same Name, DOB, and SSN.  If so, click the client’s name, and you’ll go directly to his/her profile screen. 

Solution of the Month

I found multiple (duplicate) client records for the same person in CHIN.  What should I do?

 If you find duplicate client records, then please send the Help Desk the CHIN client ID numbers and we will take care of it (we will combine the client records).  

You can continue to enter data into either client file if you need to – it will be moved into the final record when we merge the clients.

Please note that email is not a secure method to send confidential information, so if contacting CHIN via email, please use the client ID # and not the client's name, social security number, date of birth or any other client identifying information.  


CHIN on Twitter

Follow us @NCHomeless for up to date news and information on North Carolina’s HMIS, homelessness data and services.

]]> 0
CHIN News-April 2014 Fri, 04 Apr 2014 14:10:25 +0000 Data Monitoring
There’s more to HMIS than just data entry. An end-user must know how to review the data they’ve entered. Save yourself and your agency a lot of hassle cleaning up dozens of data errors down the road by tracking your data monthly for missing or incongruent data elements. To start check the Data Completeness Report Card and Enrolled Client Count with Time in Program Report on the 1st of each month and make corrections before the 15th of the month. Not sure what these reports are or how to track data? Here are some questions to ask:

  • Does your agency have an end-user with an Advanced Reporting Tools (ART) license? If no then your agency is already behind. Catch up by signing up for an Online ART training today!  If you have an advance reporting tools license (ART) you should receive these reports within your schedule report section in ART. Your agency should have an ART end-user to track HMIS data monthly.
  • Do end-users from your agency know what reports to review monthly? Quarterly? If no then your agency is already behind. Catch up by signing up for the Online Data Monitoring training today!

Link to sign up for Training:
Additional Information: What are some of the ways these two reports can help me track HMIS data?

  • Data Completeness Report Card: Tab C Client Details- This report will show missing data elements by highlighting them in red. The section headers on this tab will help you locate which section the information is missing from within the client’s profile or entry/exit tab.
  • Enrolled Client Count with Time in Program: Tab 1 Current Clients- This report will show how long a current client has been in a program. This will assist with making sure clients that have left the program in real life have also been exited within the HMIS. This report also shows the number of current clients which can be compared to the number of beds in your program to track your agency’s bed utilization rate.

For any questions regarding these topics and reports feel free to contact us.
SSVF Data Quality Plan Posted
Data quality is a term that refers to the reliability and validity of client-level data collected in the HMIS. It is measured by the extent to which the client data in the system reflects actual information in the real world. With good data quality, the CoC can “tell the story” of the population experiencing homelessness.  The quality of data is determined by assessing certain characteristics such as timeliness, completeness, and accuracy.
The CHIN SSVF Data Quality Plan is based on the VA’s recommendations for SSVF Data Quality. It is the primary tool for tracking and generating information necessary to identify areas for data quality improvement for SSVF programs.
The plan can be found in the Downloads section of the CHIN Self-Service Center:
[Download: SSVF Data Monitoring Plan]
2014 HIC and PIT Data
HUD will open the Homelessness Data Exchange (HDX) on April 1, 2014, in order for Continuums of Care (CoCs) to submit the 2014 Housing Inventory Count (HIC) and Point-in-Time Count (PIT) data. The deadline for this submission is April 30, 2014. To provide guidance in the submission process HUD will post pre-recorded webinar on the OneCPD Resource Exchange.
CoC’s should send CHIN a copy of their HIC spreadsheet.  Also, if you need a revised PIT report for your agency or CoC to show updated HMIS data, please contact CHIN.
New APR Detail Report Version
CoC APR Detail V17 is now available for use in the 1-Reports for End Users folders.
New Features:

  • Tables at the bottom of each table with explanations of the color codes and flags used in that table.
  • Exit Income Y/N mismatches (Yes to “Does client have income?” with no exit income sub assessment and No to “Does client have income?” with a complete exit income sub assessment) now display in red – as they do in Entry assessments.

For Ease of Troubleshooting, the header for each tab now includes information on:

  •  User running the report
  • Reporting period 
  • Date report ran

As in Version 16, there is an alerter on the Additional Information tab to flag incorrect EDA Provider entries.

CHIN on Twitter
Follow us @NCHomeless for up to date news and information on North Carolina’s HMIS, homelessness data and services.

]]> 0
CHIN News-March 2014 Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:06:02 +0000 Reports Update

Focus Strategies, a consulting group from California, is conducting a review of ART reports and their use in an attempt to provide guidance to CHIN on ways to improve our reports. As part of our preparation for that work, CHIN staff has done some clean-up of reports.  We removed reports that were no longer in use and consolidated some of the Enrolled Clients reports so that there weren’t so many different versions.  We are trying to keep customizations to a minimum while the Focus Strategies review of reports is being conducted.

In addition, we are developing additional guidance around how to use reports and what reports to use for data monitoring and AHAR preparation.  Look for more information to come via CHIN News, your CoC Leads, and emails to ART users.

Reports Tip

The Enrolled Clients with Time in Program report can be used for many purposes.  You can run it for a single day to see who is enrolled in your program.  That way you can be sure you are enrolling AND exiting  all of your clients  in a timely manner – VERY important for AHAR and other reports.  Also, you can divide the count of enrolled clients by the number of beds for that program to get a very bed utilization rate.  Those are just a few examples of the things that can be done with the data in that report

Solution of the Month

When recording income for my client in the program exit screen, if the client is still receiving the income at program exit, do I leave the "End Date" on the Income sub-assessment blank or do I put in and "End Date" equal to the program exit date?

On the program entry screen, if the client is still receiving the income at program exit, you should leave the "End Date" on the Income sub-assessment blank.

]]> 0