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Home > Federal Funding Data Collection and Reporting > Work Overview for RHY Funding
Work Overview for RHY Funding
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Contents

Background 
HMIS Project Set-up
HMIS Data Collection Requirements 
Reporting Requirements 

 

Background

RHY grants are made directly to the government or non-profit service provider by the Family & Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Every year, as many as 550,000 young people are homeless for more than a week, according to estimates by the National Alliance to End Homelessness. On the street, youth can become victims of violence, develop serious mental health and addiction problems, and be forced to trade sex for basic needs. The RHY Program serves as the national leader for the provision of shelter services to unaccompanied homeless youth.

 

HMIS Project Set-up

RHY grants represent one of three service tracks discussed below. It is very helpful to know which service track your grant is for when submitting your Agency and/or Project Setup forms to the HMIS Help Desk because these service tracks determine your project’s Project Type and Assigned Services. Please make sure to include the service track’s abbreviation in your project’s name.

 

  1. The Basic Center Program (BCP) funds grants to community-based public and private agencies for the provision of outreach, crisis intervention, emergency shelter, counseling, family reunification and aftercare services to runaway and homeless youth and their families.

BCP provides the following services:

 

  • Up to 21 days of shelter
  • Food, clothing and medical care
  • Mental and physical health services
  • Education and employment assistance
  • Individual, group and family counseling

 

The Basic Center Program (BCP) component of RHY is designed to meet the immediate needs of runaway and homeless youth under 18 years of age. BCPs typically provide shelter as well as out-of-shelter services. Therefore, it is often necessary to set-up BCP programs into two separate projects in the HMIS:

  • Basic Center Program – Emergency Shelter provides emergency shelter and services to homeless youth under age 18. As a requirement of the BCP grant program, BCPs must provide overnight emergency shelter to youth. Therefore, all BCPs must be have an HMIS Emergency Shelter (entry/exit tracking method only) project set up in their HMIS to record all youth they serve in a residential environment designated for youth sheltering. The residential environments that are included as Emergency Shelters include: building-based shelter facility; hotel/motel rooms; safe homes; youth respite rooms/buildings/units; host homes; and any other residential placement designed specifically to house BCP youth on a short term emergency basis.
  • Basic Center Program – Homelessness Prevention services may also be provided under RHY BCP funding. Prevention services are all activities/services provided to BCP youth who do not enter the emergency shelter or are residentially housed by the BCP program. These services include case management, family reunification, food, clothing, medical care, counseling, crisis intervention, respite care, and recreation programs. BCP-prevention programs are set up in HMIS under the Homelessness Prevention HMIS project type. Not all RHY BCP providers include Homelessness Prevention as part of their service provision. The HMIS Lead will need to determine if a Homelessness Prevention project is needed by determining if the provider serves youth with RHY funds outside of shelter.

A single client may receive either prevention or emergency shelter or both prevention and emergency shelter during one experience at BCP. Below is guidance on how to approach the distinction:

  • If a youth receives services that are not shelter stays, they would be entered into the prevention project.
  • If the youth stays in the emergency shelter, they would be entered into the shelter project.
  • If a youth initially comes in contact with the program to only receive preventative services, but afterwards enters a shelter program, they should be entered into BCP-Prevention during the date range in which they are only receiving prevention services, and then be exited out of prevention and entered into BCP-Emergency Shelter. It is acceptable, if the HMIS has such capacity, to automate the prevention exit and the emergency For clients that move on the same day from the prevention program to the shelter (i.e., require overnight sheltering) recording them only in the shelter project is acceptable.

 

2.    The Transitional Living Program (TLP)/Maternity Group Home (MGH) Program provides grants to public and private organizations for community-based, adult-supervised group homes for youth ages 16 to under 22 years who cannot safely live with their own families. These services are designed to help youth that are homeless develop the skills necessary to make a successful transition to self-sufficient living. The TLP also funds maternity group homes, which are specifically designed to meet the needs of pregnant and parenting youth. These homes provide the services described below in addition to parenting support.

TLP/MGHs offer or provide referrals for the following services:

 

  • Long-term, safe and stable shelter for homeless youth
  • Individual and group counseling
  • Life skills training
  • Interpersonal skill building
  • Educational advancement
  • Job attainment skills
  • Physical and behavioral health care

 

3.    The Street Outreach Program (SOP) funds grants to public and private organizations for street-based services to runaway, homeless, and street youth, who have been subjected to, or are at risk of being subjected to, sexual abuse, human trafficking, or sexual exploitation.

SOP provides the following services:

 

  • Basic needs, including food, clothing, hygiene or first aid packages
  • Information about services and safe places, and encouragement to enter them

 

Correctly identifying the federal partner funding source is critical for RHY reporting. Projects funded in whole or part by RHY must be identified by their RHY component type. Select an appropriate RHY Funding Source for each project:

 

  • HHS: RHY – Basic Center Program (homelessness prevention and emergency shelter)
  • HHS: RHY – Maternity Group Home for Pregnant and Parenting Youth
  • HHS: RHY – Transitional Living Program
  • HHS: RHY – Street Outreach Program
  • HHS: RHY – Demonstration Project

 

When setting up a project, be sure to note that your project is RHY-funded in the Special Funding Source question on the Agency and/or Project Setup forms. Your grant identifier will be a 12 digit alphanumeric number formatted like this: 1AB45678-12-12. Make sure to include this number on your Agency and/or Project Setup forms

 

HMIS Data Collection Requirements

Definitions of “Runaway” and “Homeless” Under the RHY Act 

 

Under the RHY Act, a runaway youth is defined as “a person under 18 years of age who absents himself or herself from home or place of legal residence without the permission of his or her family.” 42 U.S.C. § 5732a(4). 

 

A homeless youth means an individual who is less than age 21 (or less than age 18 for BCP and between age 16 and 22 for TLP) “for whom it is not possible to live in a safe environment with a relative and who has no other safe alternative living arrangement.” 42 U.S.C. § 5732a(3). 

 

In HMIS, youth are identified by age, using the date of birth. Young people age 18 and over are considered adults in the HMIS Data Standards. Thus, when HMIS data standards require data collection on adults for any given element for RHY projects, this includes all individuals age 18 and over. 

 

Understanding Households for RHY 

All HMIS systems place individual clients in households. A household may be a single person household (i.e. an unaccompanied youth) or a household with multiple persons (i.e. household of a parenting youth and child or children). Where two or more youth under age 18 present at a project together without children, each youth should be entered in their own household. In this way, all elements required to be collected for youth by RHY should be visible for data collection in HMIS as each youth is their own Head of Household. 


Universal Data Elements (UDE) 

All Universal Data Elements are required by RHY for all RHY funded programs. Instructions for general data collection of all UDE’s are published in the HMIS Data Standards Manual. RHY has provided additional instructions specific to RHY in this manual to address frequent questions and issues HUD and RHY have received. 

 

Basic Client Information

Due to the privacy requirements of RHY funding, clients who receive services funded by RHY grants do not share their personal information in HMIS with the entire CoC. Instead, their personal information is only visible to the agency that is providing them with services.

 

Because of this, RHY funded agencies are set up so that no data will be shared with any outside agencies. However, you will still be able to view shared data in HMIS, like a client’s previous enrollments at any other agencies.
When you are enrolling a client into a project, please follow these steps.

 

Universal Data Elements:

 

  • 3.1 Name 
  • 3.2 Social Security Number 
  • 3.3 Date of Birth 
  • 3.4 Race 
  • 3.5 Ethnicity 
  • 3.6 Gender

 

Additional Universal Data Elements

The additional Universal Data Elements are collected by all projects using HMIS, regardless of their funding source(s).

 

  • 3.7 Veteran Status
  • 3.8 Disabling Condition
  • 3.10 Project Start Date - The project start date is used to determine the start of a client’s period of participation with a project. All projects need this data element for reporting; residential continuum projects need it to measure lengths of stay, and services-only continuum projects need it to determine the amount of time spent participating in the project.
    • BCP – Emergency Shelter – The project start date is the night the client first stayed in the shelter for the consecutive shelter period from start to exit.
    • BCP – Homelessness Prevention - The project start date is the date the client first receives out of shelter services.
    • TLP, MGH and Demonstration projects with residential components - The project start date is the date the client first began working with the project and received the first provision of service. 
    • SOP – The Project start date is the date of first contact with the client. SOP projects should record a separate contact in addition to the Project Start Date.
  • 3.11 Project Exit Date - The purpose of the project exit date is to determine the end of a client’s period of participation with a project. All projects need this data element for reporting; residential continuum projects need it to measure lengths of stay, and other projects need it to determine the amount of time spent participating in the project. 
    • BCP – Emergency Shelter – The project exit date is the last day of continuous stay in the shelter before the client transfers to another residential project or otherwise stops residing in the project, regardless of funding source. For example, if a person checked into an overnight shelter on January 30, 2014, stayed overnight and left in the morning, the exit date for that shelter stay would be January 31, 2014. The RHY Act allow youth to receive up to 21 days of emergency shelter through BCP programs. Alternative funds may be used to support the youth after the limit of FYSB funding has been reached. The project exit date should indicate when the youth actually exited the shelter, rather than when the youth reaches the allowable RHY limit. A change in program status should be noted in the case notes for the client. This will allow for a more accurate account for how long the youth remains in care and the destination outcomes. 
    • TLP, MGH and Demonstration projects with residential components - The project exit date is the last day of continuous stay in the project, before the client transfers to another residential project or otherwise stops residing in the project. The RHY Act allow up to 18 months of housing through the Transitional Living and Maternity Group Homes (up to 21 months in certain cases). Alternative funds may be used to support the youth after the limit of FYSB funding has been reached for up to 24 months. The project exit date should indicate when the youth actually exited the project, rather than when the youth reaches the allowable RHY limit. This will allow for a more accurate account of how long the youth remains in care and the destination outcomes. 
    • BCP – Homelessness Prevention - The project exit date is the last day a service was provided. The exit date should coincide with the date the client is no longer considered a project participant. Projects must have a clear and consistently applied procedure for determining when a client who is receiving services is no longer considered a client. For example, if a youth is dropping in regularly to connect with a worker and receive advice/support as part of an ongoing effort to prevent their homelessness, the last date of service is the date of the last client contact or when the worker is able to close the case. If a client uses a service for just one day (i.e., starts and stops before midnight of same day), then the Project Exit Date may be the same as the Project Start Date. 
    • SOP – The Project exit date is the date in which the Street Outreach worker is able to transfer the case to another worker (shelter, transitional housing, permanent housing) or no longer needs to provide services to the youth. A client with an open record (i.e. project start without a project exit) for a community-defined extensive length of time in outreach may be either automatically exited from the project or may be flagged for HMIS end user intervention and exit, depending on the functionality the HMIS supports.
  • 3.12 Destination - The purpose is to identify where a client will stay just after exiting a project for purposes of tracking and outcome measurement. Select the response category that best describes where the client will be living after the date on which they exit the project. For BCP – Homelessness Prevention, this may be the same as the place where the client was living during project participation. If the youth has reunified with family and is permanently returning to the home of a parent or legal guardian, select “Staying or living with family, permanent tenure.”
  • 3.15 Relationship to Head of Household
  • 3.16 Client Location
  • 3.917 Living Situation

 

RHY Program Specific Data Elements 

Within HMIS, different funding sources and projects require collection of different program specific information. The Program Specific Data Elements are elements that are designed and managed by at least one of the HMIS federal partner programs. Some of program specific data elements are collected across most federal partner programs; these are called “Common” Program Specific Data Elements. The Common Elements used by RHY-funded projects are elements 4.2-4.13. The table below shows all program specific elements in which at least one RHY program component is required to collect information:
 


Reporting Requirements

In addition to collecting data in HMIS, RHY grantees need to upload their data twice a year (once in May and once in November) using the RhyPoint repository. Data uploads happen during specified periods in the spring and fall. Grantees should generate a CSV 6.12 – hashed for RHY report and upload that report to RhyPoint at www.rhymis.net.

 

For the annual update in May, data collected describes clients served and services delivered during the just-completed six-month period from October 1 through March 31. For the annual update in November, data collected describes clients served and services delivered during the entire 12-month federal fiscal year, that is, from October 1 through September 30. 

 

For example, the May 2018 upload included data for the date range October 1, 2017 through March 31, 2018; and the November 2018 upload will include data for the date range October 1, 2017 through September 30, 2018. If an individual has not received services during the time period covered by the upload, there is no reason to include them in the uploaded data set.

 

The collection and reporting of data by RHY grantees is governed by the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act and accompanying regulations. Additional guidance on data collection and uploads is found below.

 

RHY-HMIS Technical Assistance

Grantees and staff with questions with your data upload to include logins, files and error messages please contact the RHY-HMIS On-line Service Desk at: www.RHYMISServiceDesk.net
For assistance with issues concerning your agency’s CoC/HMIS or questions about RHY-HMIS data, please email FYSB/HHS staff at: RHYMIS@acf.hhs.gov

 

For more information about RHY-HMIS, including the most up to date Grantee User Guide, please click here.
For instructions on how to pull the required CSV export for RHY-HMIS, please click here.


 

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