This tutorial is a summary of how to set up a program. The process of setting up a Program comprises 3 steps:
- Create Screens- When creating a program, the first step is to create the screens that are to be included in the program. Learn more about Screen Creation.
- Create a Program Template- Once the screens are completed, the second step is to create the Program Template. The Program Template enables you to designate which screens will be used in the program. Learn more about Creating a Program Template.
- Build the Program- This is the focus of this article. Read more below.
After creating the Program Template, the next step is to use the Screens and the Program Template to build the Program.
Create or Modify a Program
To create or modify a Program, from the Launchpad, go to Manage > Programs > Add New Program (link in the top right corner of the center Programs screen), or if the Program exists >Edit icon on the left of the program name.
The next screen contains the same field options regardless of whether you are editing a program or creating a new one.
The top half of the fields are Configuration Fields. The bottom half of the fields are Function fields.
Configuring the Program
The first half of the fields require content specific to your program.
Identify the name of the program you are creating. This name will appear to users.
Templates are used to assign various program screens such as Enrollment, Program Status, Exit, and Follow-Up. See Creating & Editing Program Templates for more information about Program Templates.
Cross Agency Services
In some circumstances, you may require other providers to place and link their services to your program. Toggling the switch allows for that functionality. The most common option here is turned off, which allows only services provided by your agency to be assigned to this program.
Enter the Grant Number or other Identification associated with the specific funding source.
Select the funding source appropriate for the program type (e.g. CoC, PATH, HOPWA, etc.)
Select the one appropriate Program Type for this program. (NOTE: This data field was previously labeled Category.)
Method of Tracking
This data field tracks the method by which communities track emergency shelter utilization (Entry/Exit Date method vs. Night-by-Night method). This field only appears when configuring a Program classified as an Emergency Shelter program type.
- Entry/Exit Method-
The entry/exit method should be used for all shelters requiring an entry, a continuous stay, and an exit. The length of stay will be calculated based on the number of nights between program entry and program exit and performance will include changes from program entry and program exit data collection stages. Funder preference for emergency shelter programs is the use of the program entry/exit date method except for programs where clients are permitted to enter and exit on an irregular basis (e.g., mass shelter).
- Night-by-Night Method-
The night-by-night method should be used for shelters that allow clients to enter and exit on an irregular basis and do not require a continuous stay and must instead rely on a method of tracking bed nights. In this method: (1) all data required to be collected at program entry is collected; (2) the program records every discrete date or series of dates that the client utilizes a bed; (3) the system maintains historical data on the nights sheltered; (4) the duration of each stay can be accurately determined and aggregated to calculate each client’s total length of stay in the program; and (5) the client may be exited or the system may be designed to automatically generate an exit after an extended absence. Length of stay is calculated on bed nights used in this method.
Utilization of the night-by-night method does not mean that an HMIS must identify a client in a specific bed. If the HMIS supports a custom module that identifies clients in a bed that module may continue to be used. However, use of that module does not necessarily equate with the new night-by-night model
Select the Program Applicability, which is also created for reporting purposes and should match the program type.
Opperating Start and End Date
Enter the program start and end dates.
Indicate your Program Status. An Active program is one that is available to the user. An Inactive program is unavailable to the user, but its information is still available in the system.
Site Primary Location
The facility where the CoC Program provides the most housing and/or services.
- Non-residential- services only-The program only provides supportive services and does not provide overnight accommodations
- Residential- special needs and non-special needs
- Residential- special needs only
Residential housing is located within a building or complex that houses only persons with special needs (e.g. homeless or formerly homeless persons, persons with substance abuse problems, persons with mental illness, persons with HIV/AIDS, persons with a physical disability, and/or elderly persons).
Select the category of persons the Program serves.
Record the geocode for the principal program service site associated with the geographic location of the site. HUD provides a list of geocodes as part of the annual CoC application process. Geocodes must be updated annually. Mobile programs (e.g. street outreach) should record the geocode based on the location of their administrative office. Scattered-site housing programs should record the geocode where the majority of beds are located or where most beds are located as of the last inventory update.
Continuum of Care
Select the appropriate Continuum(s) of Care.
After completing these initial data fields, you can select Add Record at the bottom of the page to save the information.
This last half of the set-up will help improve the functionality of your program pending the degree and extent to which your program incorporates goals, works with other programs within the agency, and works with other agencies in your continuum of care, etc.
Enable or Disable Program Goals. Enabling Program Goals will allow you to add Program Goals; Disabling Program Goals will disallow the addition of Program Goals.
The image below shows the applicability in the Program.
Auto Service Placement
Toggling the switch will allow for Auto Service Placement, which means the client is automatically provided specified services upon enrollment. Turning off the toggle will disable this capability.
Enables or disables parameters for program enrollment (e.g. client must be Male, client must be Literally Homeless).
If you enable Program Eligibility and then Save the Program, a Program Eligibility section will be available for you fill out the necessary criteria. The image below shows the applicability of the setting, which would inform referring partners of the program eligibility qualification. Please refer to Working With Program Eligibility for more information.
When Public Listing is enabled, other agencies can view the Program and refer clients to the Program. If it is disabled, other agencies cannot refer clients to the program.
Link from History
Enabling Link From History will allow the user to link a particular service or reservation listed in the Program History tab to the program. For example, if a reservation is made from anywhere outside of the Programs tab within the client record, the user can simply go to the Program History tab, select the Link From History tab.
A popup box will appear where they can select the checkbox next to the reservation or service. This will automatically link that reservation to the Program. After the service or reservation is linked to the program, then in the main History tab, it will have the icon indicating that it is linked to a program.
The images below show the applicability of the setting and to the program.
Enable Program Assessments to have the ability to conduct assessments for the given program. Many Programs are using the VI-SPDAT Prescreen Tool, and this is where the configuration is made.
Note that an Assessment may be linked by an Agency Manager, but the Screen and the Template for the Assessment must be configured by a System Administrator.
Enabling Program Notes will allow the user to document and share (in accordance with privacy settings and access roles) client notes that are specific to the given program.
Enable or disable the Program Files feature. Enabling will allow the user to upload, view, and manage files associated with the client relating to the Program.
The image below shows the applicability in the Program.
Enable or disable the Program Charts feature, which provides a visual tracking system of specified variables over time.
This feature eliminates the possibility that a client who is no longer active in the program remains enrolled—they are automatically exited from the program if there is not activity within the specified time period (The Exit Date will match the end date of the last active service. For Night-by-night Shelters, the Exit Date will be one day after the last housing service.This removes these clients from the staff member’s caseload and also increases data accuracy.
Cascade Enrollment Data
This feature enables or disables the data cascade feature, which allows information to pre-fill based on previous enrollment values if previous enrollment was done within X days from current date. This date threshold is configurable when creating or editing a program.
Close Services Upon Exit
If enabled, this will allow all services to be automatically closed upon program exit.
Enable All Client Forms
If enabled, this allows all client forms within the program.
Click Save Changes or Add Record at the bottom of the page.
Bed & Unit Inventory
Once a residential program has been saved, a section for Bed & Unit Inventory will be available.
Click on Add Inventory.
|Information Date||The date the bed inventory information was available|
|Continuum of Care||Select the CoC where the beds are located|
|Household Type||Indicate the household type this bed inventory will serve: Households with at least one adult and one child, households without children, household with only children|
|Bed Type||Emergency Shelter Programs only: Facility-based, Voucher-based, other|
|Availability||Emergency Shelter Programs only: Year-round, seasonal, etc.|
|Inventory Type||If applicable indicate if any of the beds are targeted for a sub-population: Veterans, Chronic Homeless (PSH Only), Youth|
|Bed Inventory||Number of beds available|
|Unit Inventory||Number of rooms/apartments/units where the beds are located|
|Inventory Start Date||Date the inventory first became available|
|Inventory End Date||Date the availability ended. May be left null.|
|HMIS Participating||Indicate if any of the bed use will be tracked in HMIS. If yes, how many.|
Multiple bed inventories may be added as long as the inventories with the same CoC, Household Type and Availability do not have overlapping dates.
HUD has provided a brief training about proper Project Setup. The majority of the training specifically covers creating bed inventories. This will be helpful in determining the correct way to set the various inventory dates. Refer to: Building Projects the Correct Way for LSA, HIC, and PIT. System Administrators are advised to review this important video to ensure successful reporting.
To better understand the connection between program/bed inventory set up and HMIS Federal reporting, refer to HMIS Bed Inventories, Occupancy and Reporting.
The next step is to set up services for your program.