Washingtonians: Advocate for Housing on February 28th!

Tell Me More–Details Please!!!

On February 28th, the Washington Low Income Housing Alliance will be holding its 2019 Housing and Homelessness Advocacy Day in Olympia, WA. Over 600 statewide participants will be converging on the Capitol to meet with lawmakers and express support for affordable housing and solutions to homelessness.

Ho Hum. Why Bother?

Although it’s easy to get cynical, efforts like this are really important. So many legislators say that hearing from their constituents about the issues they care about, as well as their personal experiences, really does make a difference. Your representatives need to hear from you!

TL;DR? Simplify please!

Go forth and Advocate for Housing! Register. Go. Seriously, do it! Registration info can be found in the links above. Or just Click here.

Full disclosure: AGENCY Software is one of the sponsors of this 2019 Advocacy Day. Because we want our databases to include more people living in safe, stable, affordable housing, and less people who are experiencing homelessness.

Bonus Test! Can you read an AGENCY Housing History?

Case Managers might not enjoy entering Living Situation records into AGENCY, but they tell an important story, both about individuals and as statistics that paint a larger picture. So just to translate all this advocacy stuff into AGENCY-speak, we want to see less of this:

An AGENCY Housing History. This person is currently homeless.

and more of this:

A much better AGENCY Housing History. This person was homeless, but is now living in housing with supportive services to help them successfully keep their housing.

Enough said? See you in Olympia!

Recovery Cafe in Longmont, CO to use AGENCY

The Recovery Cafe in Longmont, CO has become the latest member of the Recovery Cafe Network to decide to use AGENCY.

Recovery Cafe in Seattle has been using AGENCY since 2011, evolving it to fit with their operations. They track Recovery Circles, enrollments, attendance, member surveys and more. Recently, Recovery Cafe adapted the software to work with multiple sites all sharing the same database. See this AGENCY Update for more information.

Catching up on AGENCY News

What’s been happening with AGENCY? I get asked that question frequently. The good news is “A lot!” What’s not so good is that I haven’t been doing a good job of sharing that information out. That’s mostly been because we haven’t had a decent website for quite a while. (My bad!) With that little obstacle out of the way, I’m hoping to get the information flowing.

Sorry to disappoint you, but that’s going to take a while and isn’t going to be covered in this one post. There’s just too much to cover!

Off the top of my head, though, here are some highlights:

More Users

More organizations are using AGENCY now. We’re currently up to around 18, with a few more in the wings.

Shared Databases, and Spanning Timezones

Much of that growth has come from Recovery Cafe, which now has multiple members of the Recovery Cafe Network using AGENCY. That’s been quite an interesting experiment and development process. They are all using one shared version of AGENCY, with access by site segmented on the database level with Row Level Security. We also had to go back and make AGENCY timezone-aware.

Individual Service Plans

Individualized Service Plans are in the testing stage at REACH. Other organizations are already using Goals. REACH is taking this a step further, by adding an overall Plan to go with it. The new Plans also add optional Action Steps, and have a nice snazzy printable template.

Plans have been a big missing piece in AGENCY–lots of information about people’s background and the services delivered, but not so much about why they are there and what they and staff are working towards!

Adding a goal in AGENCY

Crosstabs and Pretty Pictures

Pivot Tables with dynamic crosstabs and charts were added to reports just over a year ago. They provide some nice ability to do open-ended data analysis, as well as drill down into the data. There is still more work to be done on this.

Pivot Tables and Charts integrated into AGENCY Report System

Better Spreadsheets and Documents

The code and templates used for creating spreadsheets and office documents has gotten some love and attention recently. Most notably, the generic spreadsheet for AGENCY reports was significantly improved. Numbers come out as numbers instead of strings, the formatting is better, and it is now in Microsoft XLSX file, rather than OpenDocument ODS. More improvements to come!

Reports from AGENCY can be output to a spreadsheet

Well that is just going to have to do for now. Some of these items will hopefully get their own posts with more detail and elaboration. There are other topics to cover too. So stay tuned for updates, or put in a comment about what you’d like to read about!

Welcome!

Welcome to the AGENCY Software. It’s taken a while to get this site up and running, but we’re aiming to have it better maintained and more frequently updated going forward.

Since we’re running on WordPress there’s this blog feature, which we’ll definitely be making use of. You can look forward to updates about new features in AGENCY, how it’s being used, upcoming events, issues or other noteworthy news, technical information, and whatever else we choose to publish.

If you’re interested in helping to build or maintain this website, or would like to submit a post, please fill out the contact form.

What’s that you say, there is no contact form? Oh yeah, well we haven’t set one up yet. See, it’s just waiting for you to step up and do it! In the meantime, you could refer to the Contact page. I’m pretty sure that’s there, cause I wrote it myself! 🙂

Looking forward to more and better posts in the future!

Cheers,
Ken