About the Current Living Situation Assessment

Current Living Situation (CLS) assessment is a set of required data collected from adult or child Head of Households enrolled in Street Outreach, Night-by-Night Emergency Shelter, Coordinated Entry, Supportive Services, or some YHDP programs.  

Note: To understand the CLS, it's important to learn about two components that require this data collection: Project Type and Program Funder.

Program Funders and their Project Types: 

Several programs fund the projects. They and the projects they specifically fund are:

  • CoC: Street Outreach, Night-by-Night Shelter, and Coordinated Entry
  • ESG: Street Outreach and Night-by-Night Shelter
  • PATH: Street Outreach and Supportive Services
  • RHY: Street Outreach and Night-by-Night Shelter 
  • YHDP: Any project serving clients who meet Category 2 or 3 of HUD's homeless definition. 

This article will describe the data collection requirements and explain why, when, and how the information is being collected. 

Why Use the CLS

The purpose of the CLS is 

  1. to record each contact with people experiencing homelessness by Street Outreach, 
  2. to provide information on the number of contacts required to engage the client, and 
  3. to document a current living situation in any project listed above. 

In Clarity, you can access the Current Living Situation from the Assessment tab. This data was previously collected as an "Outreach Contact" service. 

When to Complete a CLS Assessment

Street Outreach and PATH

All Street Outreach projects and PATH funded services only projects are expected to record every contact made with each client. Contacts that require the collection of Current Living Situation include activities such as a conversation between a street outreach worker and client about the client's well-being or needs, an office visit to discuss their housing plan, or a referral to another community service. 

Night-by-Night Emergency Shelters

Night-by-Night shelters should only record a Current Living Situation if the interaction between the shelter personnel and client goes beyond a basic provision of shelter services. A Current Living Situation for emergency shelter does not include activities of daily sheltering (e.g. bed registration, request for personal care items, dinner sign-up, meals, etc.), nor should it be redundant with data element 4.14 Bed-Night Date.

Coordinated Entry Projects

For Coordinated Entry projects, record a Current Living Situation anytime any of the following occurs: 

  1. A Coordinated Entry Assessment or Coordinated Entry Event is recorded; or 
  2. The client’s living situation changes; or 
  3. If a Current Living Situation hasn’t been recorded for longer than a community-defined length of time.

Completing the Assessment

When a client is initially enrolled in one of the programs above, Clarity will automatically direct users to the program-level Assessment tab.  Follow the instructions below to access the CLS in the 'Assessments' tab in an active program. 

Open the client profile and click the 'Programs' tab. Click the edit icon next to the appropriate active program. 

Click the 'Assessments' tab and click 'Start' next to 'Current Living Situation.'

Click 'Start" next to Current Living Situation.' If there are more household members, toggle them on as well to include the CLS in their HMIS record.

The CLS screen comes up. Enter the date of contact and click the down arrow for 'Current Living Situation.' The drop-down has a variety of possible living options.  Choose the most appropriate.

**Optional field** 

If the client is in a temporary or permanent living situation, enter supporting housing status information in the 'Location Details' box. 

Some Current Living Situation fields, such as 'Hotel or motel paid for without emergency shelter voucher' open the additional field 'Is client going to have to leave their current living situation within 14 days?' Select the appropriate option: 'No,' 'Yes,' 'Client doesn't know,' 'Client refused,' or 'Data not collected.' 

If you choose 'No,' scroll to the bottom and click 'Save & Close.' 

If you choose 'Yes' to 'Is client going to have to leave their current living situation with 14 days?,' another drop-down field opens. Select the appropriate response ('No', 'Yes', 'Client doesn't know', 'Client refused', 'Data not collected') for each field. Once completed, click 'Save & Close'. 

More information about Current Living Situation data element can be found at the HUD FY 2020 Data Standards Manual, the HUD CoC Program HMIS Manual, and the Bitfocus article about Coordinated Entry Data Elements Details

Contact Us

If you need help or wish to offer suggestions or feedback, please contact the Cincinnati/Hamilton County HMIS Support Team at HMISsupport@end-homelessness.org or by calling 513-263-2790 9 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding holidays. 

Please note: When contacting HMIS Support, please do not include any Personal Identifiable Information such as social security numbers, birth dates, etc. Please use the Clarity Unique Identifier found on the Clarity client's profile page.