Regional count administrators are often tasked with compiling results for the annual point in time count from a variety of sources.  Mobile tech such as Counting Us is used for the unsheltered count and domestic violence programs need offline tools for data collection and reporting. There are programs that participate in HMIS, and then there are those that do not.  Simtech has developed a framework, described below, to support the process of gathering count results from all of these various sources.  

How does it work?
To support the results gathering process, Simtech Solutions first needed to author a data exchange format that could be used to allow these various data sources to produce results in a common format.

The Point in Time Results File Format has been implemented within the four different reporting solutions developed by Simtech Solutions, and this format is available for other software vendors to adopt as well.  Below are the steps for producing this "PIT Results" file from the various Simtech tools...  

  • The Regional Command Center receives data from count volunteers who are either using the Counting Us app or the Counting.Us website.  To create the Results File, count administrators will need to log in, click on the "Responses" section, run the PIT report, then click the "Export Results" button. The report can be run, and the results can be generated, for both Unsheltered and Sheltered counts. The sheltered report must first be filtered by project type to align with the format of the HUD report, as you will need to have separate files for ES, TH, and SH projects.
  • The Point in Time Report Generation Tool for Domestic Violence Projects is an Excel-based tool that allows for the data collection and reporting of, people who are homeless as a result of domestic violence.  To create an output this tool, client information first needs to be added by following the instructions found on the "Report Admin" tab.  Once done, the results of the Point in Time report can be exported by clicking the "Export Results" button. 
  • HomelessData.com is Simtech's HMIS data warehouse and is capable of producing all HUD reports, including the Point in Time report.  To create the Results File, simply run the report and click the "Export Results" button found at the bottom of the report's window.
  • The Point in Time Results File Generation Tool was created for projects or regions that need to be included in an aggregate report but they are not using a reporting tool that is capable of producing the Results File.  To use this tool, simply enter the results from your Point in Time report into this tool.  Once done, click "Export Results" and this will generate a file that is in the proper format. 

Compiling the Results
Once all of a region's different report sources have been exported into the results exchange format, they can then be sent via zip file to the Simtech Solutions help desk with a request to aggregate the results into a single Point in Time report for the region.  

Next Steps
After the results have been gathered, estimates need to be made to account for surveys that were missing responses for key demographic categories such as gender, race, and ethnicity.  HUD has provided the PIT Count Data Extrapolation Tool to assist with this step. 

Submit the Report to HUD
You will need to log into HUD HDX  to submit the official Point in Time and Housing Inventory Chart information for your region. 

Analyze the Results
With the PIT and HIC information submitted, it is now time to look at your results to see whether or not your region is making progress in your work towards ending homelessness.  Regions can submit their results to the the Simtech Solutions help desk in the same Results File format described above and we will use this to update the trend analysis for your region within the Point In Time Trends dashboard.  

You Are Not Alone
We are here for you if you would like to take a "deeper dive" with your data, or if you have questions about this automated approach to conducting a regional Point in Time count and generating meaningful output from it.  Ending homelessness is a team effort and we have your backs when it comes to the tech.