Our community uses Clarity to assess and prioritize the best housing match for clients working through our Coordinated Entry process. The VI-SPDAT (Vulnerability Index - Service Prioritization Decision Assistance Tool) is the tool used to evaluate an individual's or household's needs and match the client(s) with appropriate housing. It is also the name of the program and the name of the access role Clarity users are assigned in order to complete the assessment.

Access to VI-SPDAT is limited to those Clarity users trained in both Clarity and VI-SPDAT. Only users who work with clients in Street Outreach, Emergency Shelter, or Transitional Housing programs actually complete the assessment. 

Follow the steps below to include clients in the Cincinnati/Hamilton County Coordinated Entry Process.

Enroll the Client Household in the VI-SPDAT Program

1. Log into STEH Coordinated Access agency.

Be sure you are logged into the "STEH Coordinated Access" agency in Clarity. You can use the drop-down options list under your name to switch from your primary agency to STEH Coordinated Access. 

2. Search for the client

Search for the client using Clarity's Search tab. Each client household should already be in the system if a program enrollment has been completed. Please note, the client name will not show up in search results if the client has not consented to share basic client data within HMIS. 

Also, if your agency enters data into a different system like VESTA, it may take several hours for the client record to be imported into Clarity.

3. Enroll the Client into the VI-SPDAT project.

Click on the Programs tab from the client's record. 

Scroll down to "Programs: Available" and click on the arrow to expand the "CoC VI-SPDAT" option. 

Scroll down and select the enroll button. Be sure to toggle 'on' all household members who will be housed through the Coordinated Entry process.

If the VI-SPDAT project is not available under "Programs: Available:"

A "CoC VI-SPDAT" enrollment will show up in the client's "Program History" if the client has an existing or previous VI-SPDAT enrollment. If that enrollment has an end date of "Active," click into the enrollment by scrolling over the enrollment and clicking on the edit icon. Then skip to Completing the VI-SPDAT Assessment section of this article.

4. Confirm/complete the program enrollment and click Save & Close for all household members.

The VI-SPDAT enrollment is set-up so the enrollment data that has been entered for your project enrollment will cascade into the VI-SPDAT enrollment to reduce the need for duplicate data entry. You may need to enter some data if the data required on the VI-SPDAT enrollment is different from the data entered in the project enrollment or if you enter data into VESTA - as all enrollment data fields are not transferred into Clarity.

When enrolling households of more than one person, you will select the "Save & Next" button. After completing one enrollment, the system will load the next household member's enrollment until the entire household has been enrolled.

Once you have completed the enrollment(s), the system will return you to the Programs History tab for the client you enrolled first (most likely the HoH).

Complete the VI-SPDAT Client Consent

After you have completed the enrollment, you will need to complete a Coordinated Entry specific VI-SPDAT Client Consent to release of information (RoI). The VI-SPDAT process requires a unique client consent form because the Coordinated Access agency is a program shared by all trained users from shelter, outreach, and transitional housing programs vs. having defined staff employed by the project.

To enter the VI-SPDAT RoI:

From the HoH enrollment, select the Forms tab. Then click on the Add Form button.

1. From the pop-up box select the VI-SPDAT Client Consent (ROI) and then click Add.

2. Review and sign the form.

Review the consent with the client. Ask the client to sign the form using a touch screen or computer mouse. 

3. Click Apply and then click Save. 

Or upload a PDF.

You can also upload a signed PDF version of the form by toggling on "Upload scanned version of form."

Click on the Select File button.

Navigate and select the file you want to upload.

You will be able to review the completed form from the Forms tab.

IF THE CLIENT REFUSES TO SIGN THE VI-SPDAT ROI, delete the program enrollment and reach out to the STEH Coordinated Entry team for guidance.

Complete a Current Living Situation (CLS) assessment

1. Click on the Assessment tab and the Start button next to Current Living Situation.

Please note you will need to complete the CLS for each household member. 

Toggle on the assessment for each household member.

2. Enter the client's current living situation.

Use the drop-down options list to choose the living situation that best describes the client's current living arrangements.

2. Enter who verified the current living situation.

  1. Choose OH-500 for the CoC.
  2. Choose the appropriate program type based on the program completing the VI-SPDAT.
  3. Choose the appropriate agency name.
  4. Choose the specific program the client is enrolled in when completing the VI-SPDAT.

3. Enter location details.

You will need to enter if the client will be required to leave their current living situation within 14 days. This data will be used to determine the client's homeless status and may factor into if they are matched with housing. Location details are optional.

4. Click on Save & Close.

For households of more than one person, select the Save & Next button. After completing one CLS the system will load the next household member's CLS until the entire household has been enrolled.

Once you have completed all the CLS forms the system will put you on the program's Assessment tab for the client whose CLS you entered first (most likely the HoH).

Complete the VI-SPDAT Assessment

Please note the VI-SPDAT assessment is completed only for the head of household (HoH). 

1. Choose the appropriate VI-SPDAT assessment from the program's Assessment tab.

2. Complete all questions then hit the save button.

3. Toggle on VI-SPDAT, then click the Refer to Community Queue button.

Once you complete the assessment, you will land on a page that will display the VI-SPDAT score and sub-scores. At this point, the client will be included on the Coordinated Entry prioritization list but you must toggle on "VI-SPDAT" and click the "Refer Directly To Community Queue" button in order for the client to be referred to a housing program.

Toggle on the "VI-SPDAT" button, then "Refer Directly to Community Queue" (CQ). 

Once a client is referred to the CQ, a prioritization report is generated which is used by the Coordinated Entry staff to refer the client to a housing project.  When a match is made, CE sends a referral to the client's agency. The client has the right to refuse the housing offer, in which case the client is sent back to CQ and another client is referred. 

That's it! 

Please do not make a referral to the Coordinated Entry project.

Accessing the VI-SPDAT After Completing the Assessment

You can access the VI-SPDAT score later by going to the Client's record, click on the program's tab, scroll over the CoC VI-SPDAT enrollment, and click the edit icon.

Click on the Assessment tab, scroll down to the completed VI-SPDAT assessment, and click on the Eligibility button to access the VI-SPDAT sub scores or check to make sure the client has been referred to the Community Queue.

If the client has been correctly referred to the Community Queue, a message the client is pending will be visible on the CQ rather than seeing the VI-SPDAT toggle and Refer To The Community Queue button.

If you see the VI-SPDAT toggle and Refer To The Community Queue button, the client has not been referred to the CQ and is not set-up to be referred to a housing project. Be sure to toggle VI-SPDAT on and click the Refer To The Community Queue button.

Chronically Homeless Assessment

The Chronically Homeless Assessment is also available in the ASSESSMENTS tab in the CoC VI-SPDAT program. If a client has periods of homelessness other than what is documented in Clarity HMIS (not included in the Verification of Homelessness Report), additional documentation is required to determine Chronic Homelessness. The Chronically Homeless Assessment is used to track that additional documentation. Please see this article for more detailed information: Chronically Homeless Assessment : (freshdesk.com) 

Contact Information

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 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.  Monday through Friday (excluding holidays).

When contacting HMIS support about a particular client, please do not send personal identifiable information such as social security numbers, medical information, or other data that can be used to identify a client. Instead, use the Clarity Unique ID.