Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)
What is a Homeless Management Information System?A Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a computerized data collection tool designed to capture client-level information over time on the characteristics, service needs, and service utilization of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness.
The HMIS assists homeless service organizations across Cuyahoga County by capturing information about the clients they serve and monitoring system performance.
The Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services (OHS) serves as the HMIS Lead Agency for the Cuyahoga Continuum of Care.
Vision for HMISHMIS within the Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Continuum of Care (CoC) continues to develop. Our HMIS system demonstrates our united effort to providing targeted services that reduce the number of newly homeless, reduce the length of stay for those who are homeless, and reduce the number returning to shelter. We strive to:
- Coordinate case management across agencies, programs and services.
- Provide comprehensive information on clients served through a shared system.
- Track referrals and outcomes.
- Provide customized assessments and reports.
- Assess needs, resources, and gaps through the use of data.
- Assist in various strategic planning efforts.
- Inform public policy regarding the nature and extent of homelessness in Cuyahoga County.
- Work with other local, state, and federal entities to conduct cross-system analysis.
Mandated ParticipationPrograms authorized under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) McKinney-Vento Act as amended by the HEARTH Act must meet the minimum participation standards as outlined in the Policies and Procedures Manual. Participation has been expanded to include other federal targeted homeless assistance programs as identified by the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness.
Voluntary ParticipationThe Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Continuum of Care (CoC) strongly encourages homeless service providers to participate in the local HMIS. The HMIS lead agency works regularly with non-funded providers to communicate the benefits of HMIS and encourage participation.
The HMIS and its operating policies and procedures are structured to comply with the most recent HUD Data and Technical Standards for HMIS.
HistoryIn 2001, Congress directed that all communities receiving HUD homeless programs funding collect an array of data, including:
- Unduplicated counts of homeless.
- The use of services.
- The effectiveness of local assistance systems.
Beginning with the 2003 Continuum of Care (CoC) and Emergency Shelter Grants (ESG), HUD required all grantees and sub-grantees to participate in their local HMIS. This policy is consistent with the Congressional Direction for communities to provide data to HUD on the extent and nature of homelessness and the effectiveness of its service delivery system in preventing and ending homelessness.
Allison Gill, Program Administrator