MAAC’s Mission

Strengthening the Social Service Community through Information Systems, Training, and Advocacy

Welcome to MAACLink!

Information Systems

MAACLink is a Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) and social service software suite developed and maintained by the Mid America Assistance Coalition. The system contains vital information regarding services provided to individuals throughout the communities MAAC serves. Access to this information helps service agencies manage limited resources more efficiently by:

  • Minimizing duplication of services
  • Capturing information about unmet community needs
  • Identifying households that could benefit from more comprehensive case management or support services

Training

MAAC provides Strengths Based Case Management training – a best practice in working with homeless populations – for caseworkers. This takes an approach of looking at and building on clients’ strengths.  Each year, MAAC also hosts an Annual Training Conference in Kansas City, designed to provide continuing education and information to over 200 service providers and agencies.

Advocacy

MAAC is involved in advocacy efforts for homeless and low-income people and families, including utility assistance and homeless services. The MAAC Fund Management Program distributes more than $600,000 in privately donated utility assistance each year.

Giving Thanks

Thanks for your feedback!

MAAC just wrapped up our semiannual customer service survey week. A big THANKS to our agencies and community partners for all your valuable input and for taking the time to let us know how we’re doing. We welcome the constructive thoughts and are grateful for the appreciation we received.

MAAC is thankful for you and your agency and all the hard work you do for our community. We are happy to call you friends and partners.

Because it’s Thanksgiving week…

Keeping in the theme of the season, the MAAC staff would like to share some of the things we are thankful for:

Natasha is “thankful for being in a line of work that will affect social, systemic and political change.”

Howie is “thankful for a civilization that continues to expand its horizons of inclusion.  In our work that mainly means who can be included in safe, appropriate housing, but I’m also grateful that together we’re including LGBTQ citizens in the legal protections and privileges of marriage, and that we’re including families with children born in the US to undocumented parents in our society without fear of separation, just for a couple examples.”

Stephanie is “thankful for the good fortunes in my life.  I am very aware of how much harder my life could be.”

Glory is “thankful for great holiday food!”

Shelly is “thankful for hot coffee, Boulevard Bourbon Barrel Quad and a partner to drink it with, the mischievous smiles of my kids, and the heaviness of her body when I rock my littlest one to sleep. Oh, and MAAC. I’m thankful for a job that I love, too :) “.

I’m (Megan) thankful for patience, compassion, acceptance, my job and coworkers, good music, walks with my dogs, yoga, and friends who are my family.

We are all thankful for Linda (our Finance/Operations Director), because she rocks at her job and is an amazing baker and cook who is willing to share her goodies with us often.

Our fearless leader, John, is “just thankful to be here, for my family and friends, their health and wellness, and my work. And [like last year], I’m thankful for covered parking.”

Jill has shared a Classy comic with us to express her current thankfulness:

classythankful2014

There are so many ways to give thanks and things to be thankful for…

As we embark on this holiday season, may we find joy in the little things and celebrate what we have while continuing to share in this sentiment and help others in whatever ways we do… however that looks to each of you.

Happy Turkey Day and Holidays ahead!

Project Warmth 2014

pwEach year MAAC partners with Project Warmth to collect financial donations to help those in need during severe weather.  These financial contributions are used to help keep individuals in our community safe by assisting with heating and cooling costs when it matters most.   It’s important to remember though, that money isn’t the only way to donate to the cause.  Project Warmth also collects coats and blankets for those in need during this time of year as well.  There are a wide array of items that Project Warmth accepts including new and gently used coats and jackets anywhere from child to adult sizes.  In addition, they collect new and gently used blankets of all types as well.   The donations are shared among approximately 70 shelters and other social service providers throughout the Kansas City area.  These service providers then distribute these items to those in need throughout the winter months.

One way to donate items is by attending the annual Turkey Trails 5K/10K Turkey-Trails-NO-DATE-300x195this weekend where they will be collecting coats and blankets for Project Warmth.  The race will take place at Waterfall Park near Bass Pro in Independence, Mo this Saturday November 22, 2014 at 8 am.  You can either register to run in the race (registration continues until race day) or you can just come to watch the fun and drop off your donation.  When you donate a coat or blanket on race day you will also receive a ticket to enter a raffle!  If you can’t come to the race you can also visit Bodies Health and Fitness where they will have a donation bin for Project Warmth all month long.

We believe Project Warmth is a great cause and if you’re interested in learning more you can check out www.ProjectWarmthKC.com.

Why AHAR?

It’s that magical time of year again, it’s AHAR season. For those fortunate enough to not know, AHAR is the Annual Homeless Assessment Report that each CoC is responsible to complete. In a nutshell the AHAR captures aggregate data on beds/program slots, who filled them and how long they stayed and where they went when they left.

The AHAR was first compiled in 2007 by 80 communities and has been gaining steam ever since. The original 2007 report took 4 years to complete was presented to Congress to provide a baseline answer to some questions, including: Who is homeless? How many families & individuals utilize emergency housing resources? Are there use patterns? What is the nation’s emergency housing capacity?

This report is generally completed and submitted by your HMIS Lead or your HMIS Administrator, depending on your CoC’s governance. Here are MAAC we’re hard at work preparing and submitting this data for many of the communities that we serve.

So if you hear one of us mumbling about AHAR just know it must be between October 1 and December 15th!

Do You Share Your Password?

If you do, you’re not alone.  According to Intercede, an identity security software company:

While 52% of respondents stated that security was a top priority when choosing a mobile device, 51% are putting their personal data at risk by sharing usernames and passwords with friends, family and colleagues.

Sharing usernames and passwords poses many risks: identity theft, fraud, and in the case of MAACLink, breaches of client confidentiality and our User Agreement, potentially resulting in loss of access to MAACLink.

I don’t know anyone who loves memorizing multiple passwords comprised of random letters and numbers, but the alternatives are far worse.

Most of us can benefit from some – but not all! – of the advice in this top search result for “tips for remembering passwords.”  I like the recommendations to use a short phrase (such as “MayTheForceBeWithYou67!”), connect the first letters of a sentence (“MTFBWY67!,” using the previous phrase), and combining a phrase with vowel elimination (“MThFrcBWth67!”) or randomly placed substitutions (“M4yTheForc3BeW!thYou67!”)

I’m skeptical of the article’s ideas that involve using personally identifiable information such as your name, zip code, meaningful dates, or current dates, all of which are predictable using publicly available information.

Have I convinced you to update your accounts – especially your MAACLink account! – with stronger passwords that you won’t share with anyone, ever?

True Blue Kansas City

Kansas City is electric (blue) right now

It seems that right now a lot of other people around the country are figuring out what we’ve known for a while… Kansas City is the best! Even the mayor’s writing open letters about it. And our symphony is in on the action. Everywhere you turn, there we are loving our city and the Kansas City Royals. It’s pretty awesome.

blue kc royals blue kc MLB: ALCS-Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals royals paul rudd royals slugger

While we’re cheering on our boys in the blue in the World Series, we’re reminded of all of the things that make KC the great place that it is. Here’s to a little continued civic pride even after Hosmer and Moose are done hitting home runs for the season (and after we win that Commissioner’s Trophy!)…  and to extending this spirit further into doing great things for our community.