City of Lincoln
2004 Media Releases
A new information management system is being implemented at Lincoln agencies serving homeless persons that will allow agencies to share information.
The Lincoln and Lancaster County Community Service Management Information System (CS-MIS) is a comprehensive, client-based, case management information and referral system. CS-MIS is now serving the Lincoln Action Program, Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach, CEDARS, Fresh Start Home, Houses of Hope, St. Monica=s, and CenterPointe Inc. The system is administered through the UNL Center on Children, Families and the Law (UNL-CCFL).
With CS-MIS in operation, clients will provide basic information once which will be used by every program from which they are receiving services. The system will also allow the agencies to have accurate service histories for their clients, helping them to better serve those in need.
The local Continuum of Care Committee (CoC), a group of agencies providing services to the homeless was required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to have such a system in place and has been discussing the implementation for several years. The Lincoln-Lancaster County Human Services Plan Initiative was also seeking a mechanism to better track services provided as well as improve results. The two efforts came together with funding from the Nebraska Homeless Assistance Program, the Lincoln and Lancaster County United Way and the City Urban Development Department with support from the Woods Foundation through the Community Services Initiative.
"Our focus initially is on those agencies in the community serving homeless and near homeless populations because of the extreme need many homeless persons face and because of the HUD deadline that is linked to continued federal homeless services funding," said Jeff Chambers, Research Manager at UNL-CCFL and the CS-MIS Program Manager. "Our hope is to add at least 10 additional agencies onto the system each year over the next three years."
Other local agency administrators echoed Chambers' enthusiasm for the new system.
"The case coordination available through the CS-MIS will permit staff at Fresh Start Home to share relevant information to assist the women throughout their residency," said Tiffany Mullison, Executive Director at Fresh Start Home an current Lincoln Continuum of Care Co-Chair. "Our staff team believes the CS-MIS will save time, allow for more expeditious retrieval of information and enhance case coordination."
"In addition to allowing us to collect and track data more efficiently, the CS-MIS system will also make it easier for case managers to create service plans and monitor goal plans," said Nicole McCoy, Director of Community Services at Lincoln Action Program. "The system will benefit program participants by reducing their time completing intakes by eliminating the need to provide information already given to another participating agency. It also will enhance service delivery by providing a clearer picture of service needs, resources, and gaps in service while making referrals simpler."
"A management information system such as CS-MIS will allow CenterPointe to expand and improve our client outcome data in such a way that has not been feasible in the past," said Dennis Hoffman, Director of Case Management Services at CenterPointe and Immediate Past Chair of the Lincoln Continuum of Care. "This will help us provide better and more meaningful care to individuals who are struggling with addiction and mental health problems."
Chambers said that the City of Lincoln in general is the big beneficiary of the new information management system.
"This system is very beneficial to the clients and the agencies, but it also can provide the community in general a tremendous benefit," Chambers said. "Once implemented CS-MIS can provide community planners, community services funding agencies and the public in general with an ongoing and accurate picture of the emerging service need, the current unmet needs and the community's ongoing ability to meet known service needs."