Got a Question?
Got a question about ECHO’s work, your Coordinated Assessment, how you can help us end homelessness in Austin/Travis County, or something else? Use this page to discover Frequently Asked Questions by department, navigate to pages that may answer another question, or to contact individual departments.
If you have questions about the Coordinated Entry process, or you would like to follow up on your assessment, please use the Coordinated Entry contact form here to contact the Coordinated Entry team directly (NOTICE: By clicking the previous link you will be leaving the ECHO website and giving consent to be redirected to Aunt Bertha to fill out the Coordinated Entry Sign-up form).
Coordinated Entry FAQ
How long will I need to wait for someone to contact me about housing? Can I get an update on where I am on the prioritization list?
Unfortunately, we are unable to estimate how long it will take for a housing provider to contact you to offer housing assistance. Please understand that housing programs have a limited capacity, and it takes time for providers to contact all the people we assess. It may take longer than 6 months to be contacted, and if you have not heard from a housing provider within that time we ask that you meet with us again to update your information. We urge everyone to continue working on alternative housing options while they wait.
Do I need to be re-assessed? Do I need to re-complete the process?
You only need to be reassessed/re-complete the process if it has been longer than 6 months from your last assessment and a housing provider has not contacted you OR if your family make-up has changed. For example, if you no longer plan to live with members listed on your household or there are new members to add.
How do I update my contact information (phone number and/or email address)?
Any of our community’s HMIS users can update your contact information. The Community Assessment Access table on our Get Help page lists many, though not all, of the places you can update your info. If you have a case manager that has access to HMIS they can also update any contact information you may have.
Additional HMIS users include:
- A New Entry
- Any Baby Can
- Caritas of Austin
- Casa Marianella
- Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
- Catholic Charities of Central Texas
- City of Austin – Austin Public Libraries (APL), Communicable Disease Unit (CDU), Crisis Intervention Team (CIT), Austin Public Health (APH)
- Foundation Communities
- Foundation for the Homeless
- Front Steps
- Goodwill Industries of Central Texas
- Green Doors
- Housing Authority of the City of Austin (HACA)
- Housing Authority of Travis County (HATC)
- Maximizing Hope
- Meals on Wheels and More
- Mobile Loaves and Fishes
- Mosaic Church Austin
- Refugee Services of Texas
- Saint Louise House
- Sobering Center
- Travis County – Health & Human Services, Veteran Services, Public Defender’s Office
- Vivent Health
How do I access Coordinated Entry?
Due to the ongoing pandemic, walk-in Coordinated Entry locations are currently closed. However, you can still complete the process by filling out a form at this link, which will allow our partners at Aunt Bertha to contact you to complete your Coordinated Assessment.
How can I contact emergency shelters or other groups to get immediate help?
Please click here to see ECHO’s Housing for Health Resource Guide, which includes information about accessing emergency shelters, case management, healthcare services, mental wellness and substance use programs, and other community benefits.
If you are a member of the news media, a student seeking background information for a project or assignment, an organization or group requesting a presentation about homelessness in Austin, or someone who would like to donate or volunteer to support efforts to end homelessness in Austin, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also see the latest news on ECHO’s blog.
Media Requests FAQ
Where can I find statistics about homelessness in Austin?
Please visit this page to see an overview of homelessness in Austin, including demographic information and details about the causes and effects of homelessness. In addition, you can visit this page to see various reports, including the latest Point in Time (PIT) Count data, information on racial disparities in our homeless response system, and Austin’s Action Plan to End Homelessness.
How do I request specific data for a story I am working on?
If the data you’re looking for are not included in one of the two locations listed above, please email email@example.com with your name, news outlet, deadline, and as much detail as possible about the data you are requesting. Due to the volume of work our Research & Evaluation team undertakes, we cannot guarantee same-day turnaround for certain types of data, but will do our best to fulfill your request.
How can I get involved in the work to end homelessness in Austin/Travis County?
You can find education, advocacy, and volunteer opportunities on our Advocacy Hub.
ECHO’s Research and Evaluation Team responds to requests for specific data from community partners or groups working on issues to homelessness outside of the news media. Please visit the Homelessness in Austin page and the Data and Reports page to review the information currently available before submitting a new data request. Please email REinfo@austinecho.org with any further questions or to request specific data.
Research Requests FAQ
How many people experience homelessness in Austin?
This is a difficult question to answer, because there is no single number that tells the full story of homelessness in Austin. ECHO and our community partners use several data sources to analyze trends and needs of our unhoused neighbors, including the Point in Time (PIT) Count, which provides a snapshot of the number and demographic information of people experiencing homelessness at a given time, and the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), which functions as a rolling video to provide person-specific information over time. Please visit the Homelessness in Austin page for more information about these two measurements.
ECHO’s Community Housing Team cultivates relationships with property owners and managers to maintain a portfolio of housing opportunities around our community to serve our neighbors exiting homelessness. You can learn more about these partnerships here. If you are a property owner or manager and are interested in partnering with ECHO, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Community Housing FAQ
I’m a renter, homeowner, or community member. How can I get involved in expanding housing opportunities in Austin?
Everyone has a role to play in ensuring our neighbors have safe, stable housing when they exit homelessness. You can help us develop new partnerships with property owners and managers through our How to House campaign, a new initiative between ECHO and the Austin Justice Coalition.
ECHO manages the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), a HUD-required person-specific database used by community partners to understand and respond to individuals’ needs and to identify trends in our homeless response system. Please use this contact form to join HMIS and become a community assessor. Use this contact form to request data from ECHO’s HMIS Team. If you are part of an agency that already participates in HMIS and need assistance using the system, please submit a ticket through the HMIS Help Desk. For any additional questions, please contact HMIS.Team@austinecho.org.
What is ServicePoint?
ServicePoint is a flexible, web-based software system used by human services organizations to manage and coordinate services, guide resource allocation, and demonstrate effectiveness. The Austin/Travis County Continuum of Care (CoC) uses the ServicePoint software for our CoC’s HMIS. To run ServicePoint, a user needs a broadband Internet connection, a browser and the security certificate. The most recent version of Google Chrome, Microsoft Internet Explorer, Safari or Firefox are recommended to run ServicePoint. Older versions may work but are not fully supported.
Will an HMIS license be prorated if a license is added between renewal periods?
Yes, ECHO will prorate your license and we have the ability to prorate by month. For example: if you request an HMIS license on November 17th, that invoice will have a prorated start date of November 1st and you would only be billed for November through February of that annual billing cycle.
How do I request a license and what is the fastest way to add an HMIS license to my agency?
Agency Admins are responsible for initiating this process. Agency Admins are responsible for signing up new users and for registering staff for HMIS trainings. Please make a note in the training registration form that a new license needs to be purchased. As outlined in the HMIS Agency Admin training, the Agency Admin must also create a profile for the new user in the back end of HMIS. A guide showing that process can be found under the HMIS Training tab and Agency Admin Guides and Tools section. Once that is complete, the Agency Admin or new user should submit an HMIS HelpDesk Ticket requesting a license to be assigned to their profile and request the PKI installation to be scheduled.
If you do not have an Agency Admin at this time, please submit an HMIS Helpdesk Ticket, so the HMIS team can assist.
If you would like to purchase an HMIS license, but not register a new user, please submit an HMIS HelpDesk Ticket to make that request.
Have a question that wasn’t answered here and doesn’t fit the criteria for one of the email address listed above? Use this form to contact ECHO with general inquiries. Please note due to the volume of inquiries we receive, we cannot guarantee a response within a certain amount of time.