To end homelessness, a community must know the scope of the problem, the characteristics of those who find themselves homeless, and understand what is working in their community and what is not. Solid data enables a community to work confidently towards their goals as they measure outputs, outcomes, and impacts.
Homeless Management Information System, HMIS, is a locally administered data system used to record and analyze client, service, and housing data for individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Federal, state and local levels use aggregate Homeless Management Information System data to obtain better information about the extent and nature of homelessness over time. Specifically, the Homeless Management Information Systems can integrate and unduplicated data across projects in a community. This data is used to understand the size, characteristics and needs of the homeless population at multiple levels.
All recipients of HUD funds for homelessness and homelessness prevention services are required to participate in the Homeless Management Information System. This includes recipients of Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds, Supportive Housing Program (SHP), Shelter Plus Care (S+C), Section 8 Mod Rehab for SRO, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Programs, Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), and Projects for Assistance in Transition From Homelessness (PATH). In addition, HUD encourages participation of other federal programs that serve homeless persons.
Participation of other organizations that do not receive HUD Continuum of Care funding is voluntary, but strongly encouraged as it helps the entire continuum have a better understanding of what is working in the community and what is not.