HUD and Federal Partner Setup and Workflows

How to Set Up PATH Programs and Services


The Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) was authorized by the Stewart B. McKinney Homeless Assistance Amendments Act of 1990.

PATH services are for persons with serious mental illness, including those with co-occurring substance use disorders, who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless. PATH services include community-based outreach, behavioral health, case management, and other supportive services, and a limited set of housing services. Virtually all states use PATH funds to provide outreach services to contact and engage people who are disconnected from mainstream resources.

Creating a PATH Program Template

There are three steps to creating a PATH program in the HMIS:

  • Create a PATH program template in SETUP > Program Templates. (Must be done by a System Administrator)
  • Configure the PATH program in MANAGE > PROGRAMS. (May be created by a System Administrator or Program Manager)
  • Configure PATH-specific services in MANAGE > SERVICES tab.  This includes Referral services. (May be completed by a System Administrator or Program Manager)

To create a PATH program template, go to the Launchpad and select SETUP >TEMPLATES. 


Then, select Programs Template (default) and click Add new Program.


Once in the Create a New Program Template Screen, select the appropriate PATH screen for each category. System screens specific to PATH are updated with each new release of HUD Data Standards, as appropriate to remain compliant, so find the screen that corresponds to the most recent year and is labeled HHS: PATH. (Also note that the Follow-up Screen is not applicable to PATH programs).


The settings above are a sample to get you started on a Template that will work for your program, but please see Program Templates for more information including the details of the Program Status data field, the Automated Provisioning data field, and the additional components of a program template that appear after selecting Add Record

Configure the PATH Program

After creating the PATH Program Template, the next step is to configure the PATH Program itself. Note that How to Set Up A Program is a detailed guide on configuring programs generally and is a great reference if more explanation is needed.

To begin, go to MANAGE > PROGRAMS and select the ADD NEW PROGRAM link.


Additional details are available in How to Set Up A Program.

Creating PATH Services

The final step to creating a PATH program is to create PATH-specific services. There are two steps to creating a Service.

  • Create a Service Detail
  • Create a Service Item

Note that services can also be created by editing the Program Template, but the approach below is useful for this program set-up.

Create Service Detail

In the Services tab, click ADD NEW SERVICE.


The following configurations are critical for accurate PATH reporting:

Service Title Create a title for the PATH service. This is up to the discretion of the agency. However, the title must be specific to the type of PATH Service (i.e. PATH transportation services, PATH Legal Referral, etc.). The title must be different than just PATH Service – Titling it as such would interfere with reporting outcomes.
Category Select PATH Funded Service from the dropdown menu.
Site Select the most accurate site. This is up to the discretion of the agency.
Site Type Select Non-Residential: Services Only
Status Active indicates the service is currently available; Inactive indicates that the service is not currently available.


The Create a New Service screen should look like the screenshot below:

Create a Service Item

The next step is to create a Service Item for the PATH-specific service. Selecting the ADD RECORD link will bring you to the Services: Detail screen where you will complete the service configuration as well as create a Service Item.

To begin creating a Service Item, select the ADD ITEM link in the Service Items section.


This will bring you to the Services: Item Detail screen. Select the appropriate category in the Category dropdown menu, which will auto-populate the Item Title.

(Please see the Creating PATH Referral Services section below for information specific to Referral Service Items.)

Creating PATH Referral Services

The configuration process for creating a PATH referral service (particularly that of Service Items) differs slightly from that of other services. The differences are discussed below.

To create a PATH Referral Service, follow the same initial process as outlined above. However, once you are ready to create the Service Item, you will notice several differences.

To begin, enter the Service Item Title. Next, select "Referral" from the Category drop-down menu.


Selecting Referral will cause another data field Category 2 to appear. Select the type of referral that is appropriate for the Service Item.


After designating the appropriate category for the Category 2 data field, a third data field will appear labeled Category 3 to capture the outcome of the referral as either Attained, Not Attained, or Unknown.

Note:  Each PATH Referral service will need a Service Item for each of the 3 categories listed in this dropdown. This means that each PATH Referral service will have 3 service items, one service item for each of the 3 options in the Category 3 dropdown. Also, be aware that the most recent version of the data standards only requires that the outcome of the service be captured so Referral Made will no longer pull data into the PATH APR (and is not included in the Category 3 options above) but can be used for internal reporting at the discretion of the provider and System Administrator.

When the Service Item is complete, Click ADD RECORD.

Assigning Service to Program

You will return to the Service Detail page, where you may assign the Service to a specific program or leave the service available to clients regardless of their enrollment status. PATH generally requires a client to enroll in PATH in order to receive services, so "Programs Only" is generally the best selection for those programs. 


You can find additional details in our Introduction to Servicesarticle.