Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) is an initiative of The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to promote housing stability among very low-income Veterans and their families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
VA has partnered with community-based organizations and local non-profit agencies across the country to provide rapid rehousing and homeless prevention services through evidence-based practices and case management strategies in order to help families stay in or acquire permanent housing on a sustainable basis.
- SSVF grantees that participate in HMIS are require to enter client level data into HMIS. Additionally, they are required to export and upload client level data from HMIS to VA’s Repository on a monthly basis.
- SSVF funded projects participating in HMIS are subject to the requirements of the most recent version of the HMIS Data Standards Manual, and 2004 HMIS Technical Notice, which define HMIS data collection and privacy, security, data quality, and software requirements.
- SSVF funded projects participating in HMIS are subject to HMIS policies and procedures established by the CoC(s) in which they operate, and they are also subject to VA requirements.
- The SSVF Grantee is responsible for all activity associated with agency staff and use of the HMIS, including: CoC Participation, HMIS Participation and Governance Compliance, Privacy and Security Compliance, HMIS Policy and Procedure Compliance, Data Quality Compliance, Community Planning/Use of Data.
- Every project receiving SSVF funding must be included in the CoC’s PIT and HIC Count. In communities that use HMIS to generate the HIC, all projects funded under these programs must be entered into HMIS, regardless of HMIS participation. Furthermore, every project in a CoC’s HIC is required to be set up in HMIS regardless of collection of client level data in HMIS or not.
It is important to be sure that communities understand the difference between a program and a project as they have distinct meanings in this context. A program is the source of funding that the organization is receiving to run its homeless intervention, or project. (e.g., Supportive Service for Veteran Families Program funding for ABC Rapid Re-housing Project). On the other hand, the project has a specific goal, and often a specific funding source, for serving people experiencing homelessness. For data collection purposes, HUD and its federal partners refer to categories of funding within a program as components.
For each SSVF grant, there must be one project set up in HMIS with a project type of Rapid Re-Housing (RRH) and another with a project type of Homelessness Prevention (HP). This means that an agency receiving SSVF funding should have two projects set up in HMIS, one RRH and the other HP. Participants should be entered into HMIS under either the RRH or HP project based on the housing status of the head of household. If the head of household is homeless, enter the household into the RRH project. Briefly, this includes:
- Individuals and families living in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., a vehicle, park, abandoned building, bus or train station, airport, or camping ground).
- Individuals and families being provided with a temporary residence by a public or private organization (e.g., emergency shelter, Safe Haven, or a hotel or motel paid for with emergency shelter vouchers).
- Individuals exiting an institution after a stay of 90 days or less who resided in an emergency shelter or place not meant for human habitation immediately before entering that institution.
- Individuals and families leaving their primary nighttime residence because they are fleeing domestic violence, have no other residence, and lack the resources or support networks to obtain other permanent housing.
- Other participants (i.e., those who are not homeless but are eligible for SSVF) should be entered into the Prevention project.
- SSVF participating agencies enter local data into HMIS
- Every month SSVF data is exported from HMIS and uploaded to VA Repository
- National-Level reporting is generated based on uploaded data
All VA-funded projects participating in HMIS are required to collect and enter Universal Data Elements and relevant Program-Specific Data Elements. VA grantees must collect every applicable data elements for every person served.
For detailed information about data collection instructions, element rationale, collection point, and definitions of response categories, please see the HMIS Data Standards Manual, HMIS Data Dictionary and the VA Provider Data Guide.
Some special considerations for data collection of VA projects include:
- Data for persons who are screened but not enrolled should never be entered into a VA project and should not be uploaded to the Repository.
- Persons served under SSVF “Pending verification of Veteran status” can be entered into HMIS and uploaded to the Repository.
- Data collected and entered into HMIS should be done so upon program entry based on the participants’ self-reports.
- Documentation must be obtained for data elements directly tied to program eligibility.
- Information about specific disabilities is collected as clients enter the project, at least once per year while they are enrolled, and at project exit.
- All other SSVF grantees are required to collect and enter data into HMIS for 100% of participants.
- Contact Regional Coordinator if SSVF requirement appears to be in conflict with state, local law or local HMIS policy.
The Data elements to be collected by SSVF funded projects are marked with an X in the chart below for each Program Component.
The data fields listed immediately below are required to determine eligibility for VA funded projects and/or does not require input from clients. The VA has zero tolerance for missing data in these fields:
- Social Security Number for Veterans
- Relationship to Head of Household
- VAMC Station Code
- Client Location – CoC Code
- Income as a Percent of AMI
- Housing Move-In Date (RRH) (formerly known as the Residential Move-In Date
On a monthly basis, SSVF grantees are required to upload client-level SSVF data from the HMIS to a secure SSVF Data Repository managed by VA.
- Monthly uploads are required within the first three business days of each month to be considered on time.
- Modified, corrected and late uploads are accepted by the 9th day of each month, unless otherwise notified by VA or SSVF HMIS Technical Assistance staff. Only the most recent successful upload will be stored in the Repository.
- Each upload of data to the Repository will contain a complete data set reflecting program activity from the start of the federal fiscal year to the date of export.
- Every time a file is successfully uploaded, it replaces any and all data previously uploaded for that program.
Three separate reports are sent to register Repository users during the monthly upload cycle:
1. Validation Results Report:
- It appears on screen after uploading data into Repository.
- Checks that files contain all the necessary columns.
- Will confirm if upload was successful or unsuccessful.
- It is important to note that uploads with a clean validation result may still have data quality issues.
2. SSVF Data Quality Reports:
- The purpose of the Data Quality Reports is to identify and correct errors before the Repository closes.
- These reports are generated on the fourth business day of each month for the most recently uploaded data set and are emailed out to all Repository users.
- It shows data quality score for key data elements of the most recently upload data set
- Overall scores must be 95% and individual fields must be above the threshold for that data element
NOTE: To check on the availability of this report, see the HMIS Repository web page’s “Important Upload Information” section.
3. Repository Monthly Reports
- Grant-level report emailed monthly showing high-level look at all persons and outcomes.
- The reports are emailed once each month to all Repository users associated with each grant.
- Unlike the Data Quality Reports, the Monthly Reports reflect activity by grant, rather than by project