Author Archives: Natasha


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!

Local Food Waste Solutions

One theme I keep returning to on this blog is food insecurity in the US and the millions of tons of food that goes to waste every year. Basically 7.5 pounds of food per day gets tossed for every hungry American. I’ve already highlighted a few agencies that are taking new and innovative steps toward saving that food to feed the hungry and today I’m happy to add a local agency to that list.

The Society of St. Andrew has taken a page from the history books and has implemented gleaning throughout the area, and around the nation. Gleaning is the practice of collecting the fallen, forgotten or unwanted produce in the field, produce that is perfectly good but, for whatever reason, was left unharvested by the farmer. In biblical times gleaners were the poor themselves; today in KC The Society sends out crews of regular folk, volunteers mostly, to harvest the unwanted bounty that would otherwise rot in the field. The gleaned harvest is then distributed to multiple agencies that serve the poor.

For more information or to sign up to glean yourself visit:


Here’s a great video interview with director Lisa Ousley about the work SoSA does locally.

What local food waste solutions have you tried?


We survived another Back-to-School season! Most of the kiddos in my life got new clothes, school supplies and the requisite haircut before heading off to their first day of school. Haircuts, I think, are one of those things that we tend to forget are a luxury which leads me to my latest Instragram find: markbustos.

For the past 2 years this NYC stylist takes to the streets on his days off, approaches homeless individuals and says “I want to do something nice for you today.”

That something is a free haircut.

His selflessness is inspiring and a great reminder that individuals can change lives. I love the hashtag he created for the project: #BeAwesomeToSomebody.

For more pictures you can follow the link below to a full story or you can follow Mark on Instragram.

New ESG HMIS Intake Form

One of my goals as an HMIS Administrator is to make data entry as easy and as painless as possible. Sometimes this is a lofty goals given all the requirements put on us by the powers that be. Other times, however, we are able to create simple tools to help you; our user!

Last week the *new* ESG HMIS Intake form was created. This form is a paper version of the entire ESG Assessment found in MAACLink. Now, you’re able to have exactly what you need on paper before you sit down to do your ESG HMIS data entry.

If you had been using the HMIS Entry Form then you were collecting more data than needed to be entered. If you weren’t using any form than you might have been collecting too little. With this new ESG HMIS Intake form you will collect just the right amount.

This new form, as well as many other forms, can be found under MAAC Product Support>MAACLink Forms.

Happy Data Entry!

Refresher Trainings

Greetings from Hutchinson Kansas! All this week I’ve been traveling through Topeka, Junction City, McPherson and Hutchinson providing Refresher Trainings to existing MAACLink users. Did you know that you can request to attend a Refresher Training at any time? These free sessions are part of the robust support that MAAC offers to all of our users.

But why attend? We all have full, busy schedules so how can it benefit you to make time to sit in on another class?

* To strengthen the relationship you have with your MAACLink administrator

* Exposure to functions and reports in MAACLink that you may not use or be aware of

* Meet other MAACLink users in your area

* Enhance existing MAACLink knowledge

* Gain ideas on other ways your agency can utilize MAACLink

* Comply with Program requirements that may mandate annual HMIS refresher training

If you’ve attended a MAACLink Refresher Training leave a comment with what you gained from your experience. If you’d like to attend a session, contact MAAC staff and we’ll arrange it for you. See you in the classroom!