Leveraging Data to Mitigate Homelessness in Mississippi

By Rebecca Dresner, Foothold Technology

For the 300 veterans experiencing homelessness in Mississippi, each night is a new battle to find a safe, warm place to sleep. Until recently, finding and securing benefits was a confusing process. Organizations across the state could not share their data or easily access real time information about their clients. Mobile applications and improved data systems have helped alleviate some of this burden for both those in need of services and those organizations providing support.

Mississippi United to End Homelessness (MUTEH)

Mississippi United to End Homelessness

Mississippi United to End Homelessness, more commonly known as MUTEH, is using Foothold Technology’s AWARDS software in collaborative ways to help mitigate homelessness in their state. MUTEH is Mississippi’s Lead Agency for both Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) and the Continuum of Care (CoC), working with partner organizations and government agencies to serve and house vulnerable populations across the state.

Many HMIS Participating Agencies are participating in an innovative data collection program where they enter live data into their statewide system. Outreach teams equipped with ipads regularly set out across the state into their local communities and homeless encampments to create profiles of those experiencing homelessness in real time.

HMIS and Data Accessibility

Ledger Parker, Executive Director of MUTEH, recognizes the importance of having one centralized database that “ensures more accountability, versatility and better data quality.” The statewide collaborative allows agencies to see if there are gaps or duplications in services.

 

Today, as a veteran experiencing homelessness in Mississippi, you could walk into the Jackson VA medical center and almost immediately receive cash vouchers, a process that could have previously taken weeks. Agencies like MUTEH, that are using data in a strategic way, are leading the charge in uniting technology with human services. Parker explained, “Easy access to our data enables us to effortlessly create and share reports, which lets us better serve our community.”

HMIS and AWARDS

We have noticed similar successful results in states where Foothold’s HMIS customers are using data in interesting ways. The use of HMIS in New Jersey and the process by which de-duplicated services data was pulled from the HMIS to match with Medicaid claims data in a more efficient way. In Vermont, we work with two organizations who utilize AWARDS to support their housing programs and improve the lives of those in their community. Good record-keeping in AWARDS allows Foothold Technology customers to find new opportunities to partner with other entities to inform planning, drive policy and strengthen communities.

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About Foothold Technology
Foothold Technology, an electronic record, EHR vendor and human services software provider, offers web-based software for human service providers that eases the burden of documentation, providing agencies with the freedom to focus on their Mission. More than 1,000 agencies nationwide count on Foothold’s AWARDS software to manage their services, including Mental Health, Alcohol & Substance Use Disorder, Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Employment & Training, Seniors, Veterans, Youth & Family, and more. Having originated from three agencies in 2000, AWARDS is a complete electronic record and EHR software for human service providers that also supports administrative activities, including facilities maintenance, human resources, scheduling and alerts, audit reports, and automated billing. AWARDS offers full interoperability with any other federally certified system for participation in Health Information Exchanges (HIE) and Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs). It is also the only record-keeping system that is certified as both a Behavioral Health EHR software system and an HMIS software package (Homeless Management Information System). With roots and origins in human services, no software vendor is better prepared to support you than Foothold Technology. For more information, visit footholdtechnology.com.