Passwords & Account Security
Several years ago, we wrote about a new feature (new in version 4.0.52!) that allowed for more secure passwords in HIFIS, with more options for customizing.
Internet security has evolved, so we thought it was time to revisit our old discussion. HIFIS has several features that allow you to configure some things, but how should you configure them?
One thing that has been examined recently is policies that force a user to create a new password every so often (typically 90 days). …
New Feature: Clone Users
In HIFIS 18.104.22.168 (December 2021), there's a new feature that allows you to clone an existing user. (If this sounds familiar, that's because we posted about the idea recently!)
What this option does is copies all the configuration from one user to a brand new user account: this includes the Roles, Service Providers they have access to, default Service Provider, and Rights for each Service Provider.
It's super simple to use. When you want to clone a user, just click on the new Clone User button…
Why you need TWO reports for Coordinated Access
But sometimes they also …
How to Record Street Outreach in HIFIS 4 (Revisited)
Street outreach involves moving outside the walls of the agency to engage people experiencing homelessness who may be disconnected and alienated not only from mainstream services and supports, but from the services targeting homeless persons as well.
Street outreach is when a worker goes outside of their place of employment to deliberately connect with people experienc…
Diversion in HIFIS 4: Recommendations Report
Built for Zero Canada and ACRE Consulting, as members of the HIFIS 4 Working Group, took the initiative to consult with communities and propose what Diversion coul…
Simple Training Time Calculator
Luckily, there's a simple way to get yourself a rough idea of how long you need to spend training your staff. We've put together a calculator where you can put in your requirements and find out how much time you need. Note that this gets you a very, very rough idea! Just a place to start.
Data Dive: Average Length of Stay for Families
Occasionally, I get asked by someone what is the average length of stay for families (as opposed to singles) in their shelter system. On the surface, this is an innocent question! I would like to know this. Wouldn't you like to know? If families are staying longer than singles, then maybe we can arrange some policies or programs that specifically target families more efficiently.
But it's actually really hard to calculate the average length of stay for a family. Not because the math is hard, bu…
Let's talk about Chronic Homelessness
Let me ask a question: how do you calculate chronic homelessness? We know that the federal definition is 6 months in the past year or 18 months in the past 3 years, but we have to deal with a lack of information - there's lots of holes in our data. So how do we address these gaps? Let's go through a few scenarios and discuss.
Our client, Aladdin, stays in our shelter every night for six months. He books in January 1st and then books out June 30. That's 181 days, so we can calculate …
How to Record Hotel/Motel Stays in HIFIS 4
HIFIS 4 has lots of great features, but one of the things that is missing is an out-of-the-box way for you to handle programs that sort of operate like shelters but sort of don’t. One example of this is communities that have a motel voucher program or something similar, in which homeless clients stay in a hotel or motel room that is paid for by a service provider. A host homes program might share similar challenges as well.
How Are Motel Stays Different?
Let’s start by discussing the key diffe…
Understanding Data Volume in Reports
At ACRE Consulting, one of the things we do a lot of is writing reports. We see a lot of different request for reports which vary in complexity from extremely simple to crazily complex. The resulting reports end up varying wildly in measures like efficiency and run-time. Some will run quickly, while others might take ages to compile (fill with data) and might even time-out (give up before completion).
We'd like to walk you through what's going on in the background of a report so you can have a …