Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

The HMIS (Homeless Management Information System) is a local web-based information technology system that San Diego’s Continuum of Care (CoC) uses to capture and report on client, project, and system level information regarding homeless services utilization, performance and outcomes.

San Diego uses the software Clarity (distributed by Bitfocus) for its HMIS installation. The HMIS may only be accessed by persons affiliated with organizations that have agreed to participate in HMIS and joined the HMIS Trust Network. All users must complete new user training before they may access HMIS. To access HMIS data or reports, see the Reports page.

About HMIS

What is the HMIS?

The HMIS  – or Homeless Management Information System – is a local web-based information technology system that San Diego’s Continuum of Care (CoC) uses to collect client-level data and data on the provision of housing and services to homeless individuals and families and persons at risk of homelessness.

Why is the HMIS used?

By federal mandate, each Continuum of Care across the United States is responsible for maintaining an HMIS software that complies with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) data collection, management and reporting standards.

Use of the HMIS is beneficial to many stakeholders. HUD and other planners and policymakers use aggregate HMIS data to better inform homeless policy and decision making at the federal, state and local levels. Within the community that makes up San Diego’s Continuum of Care (CoC), implementing the HMIS has allowed San Diego service providers to compete more effectively for federal funding to support the work of preventing homelessness. The HMIS enables providers to better manage client data, coordinate services, guide resource allocation and streamline service delivery. The HMIS was crucial to San Diego’s implementation of a Coordinated Entry System, through which the community has been able to coordinate and streamline the process of finding housing for homeless individuals and families, with the goal of housing the most vulnerable people first.

How is the HMIS administered?

The department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires all Continuum of Care (CoC’s) to select a software solution that complies with federal data collection and reporting standards. San Diego’s CoC uses Clarity,  which is administered by the software vendor that developed it, BitFocus.

Who uses the HMIS?

San Diego’s HMIS collects data from homeless service providers throughout the area comprised by the Continuum of Care. Staff members at these providers enter data on the clients they serve. For more information on providers that use the HMIS, see HMIS Participating Agencies.

The Regional Task Force on Homelessness serves as the HMIS Lead Agency in San Diego. It sets policy, performs executive functions and provides strategic direction and oversight for San Diego’s HMIS. It also oversees technical design, implementation and operation of the HMIS to ensure that the system is fully understood and appropriately utilized by all parties in the CoC. RTFH staff manage day-to-day system operations, monitor and enhance the functionality of the database and provide training and technical support for all HMIS users.

HMIS Participating Agencies

The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a collaborative, online tool for the real-time management of client and services data entered and maintained by homeless service providers throughout San Diego County. Participating Agencies are those agencies who have agreed to be a part of the “trust network” of homeless service providers utilizing the HMIS according to established policies, procedures, and protocols designed to foster collaboration, enhance service delivery, and safeguard information.

HMIS Trust Network

View the HMIS Trust Network updated 4/08/2024

CIE Network Partners

Manage Participation Status

Currently renewal of your HMIS participation status cannot be completed through this site. All HMIS license fees are due quarterly and all current participating agencies will be contacted via email to renew their status as active HMIS participating agencies. If you have questions about your HMIS participation status, please contact the HMIS Support team.

Update Agency HMIS Contacts

All HMIS participating agencies are required to identify four staff members who will serve as key contacts for HMIS purposes and liaisons between the Regional Task Force and their agency for all HMIS matters. These roles are described in the HMIS Policies and Procedures as well as in this online form. If you are a participating agency and need to update your HMIS contacts, please do so by completing this online form.

HMIS Policies and Procedures

The guidelines informing the roles and responsibilities of being an HMIS Participating Agency are extensive and may be found in the HMIS Policies and Procedures. If you would like to learn more about how to become an HMIS Participating Agency, please contact the HMIS Support team.

HMIS Training & Support

The Regional Task Force’s HMIS Support Team provide HMIS participating agencies and users with training and support. If you are a current HMIS user and you need technical support, your first point-of-contact is your agency’s HMIS administrator. If they have been unable to assist or you are unsure who your agency’s administrator is, please email the HMIS Support Team.

For CIE support, contact the CIE Helpdesk. 


HMIS Refresher Training (Required)

The HMIS Refresher training will cover general HMIS topics with a focus around general data quality improvements. No registration is necessary to attend/complete this training. You will need to visit the training landing page on our website, watch the training video and complete the corresponding training quiz with a score of 90% or better. The training video is 38 minutes long and the quiz has 15 scored multiple choice questions. 

This training must be completed no later than May 26, 2021. All users that have NOT completed this mandatory training by May 26, 2021 will be inactivated until the training has been completed.

Key Dates:
Training Launch: 2/18/2021
Training Deadline: 5/26/2021

Training Resources
Refresher Training Video
Refresher Training Quiz

Clarity/HMIS Online New User Training

Please see below for all of the Online HMIS New User Training requirements to obtain a Clarity License


1. HMIS New User Webinar: Watch the New User Webinar, and complete the guided data entry practice successfully, data is checked by the HMIS team.
               *** ADVANCED REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED*** Please register new users at least 48 hours in advance of the training session.

Training Description: This training session will cover the basics of using the HMIS software, Clarity, including:

– Basic navigation

– Creating clients

– Adding clients into a household

– Enrolling a household into a program

–  Adding a status assessment and service to your enrolled household

– Adding a household from a program

– Additional features, including notes, public alerts, client files and using the client location feature

Please see our Events page for upcoming training sessions and registration requirements.

2. HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials Webinar and Quiz: All Users must view the HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials Webinar and pass an online quiz on the webinar content with a score of 90% or better.

Training Description: The Privacy and Security training will review HMIS Policies and Procedures including privacy and security standards, authorization forms, ethics, and confidentiality.

3. The Designated HMIS Agency Administrator at your agency must approve the license fees associated with a new Clarity user license. 

The use of a computer/mobile device is required to complete training.

CES Workflow in Clarity Training

Any HMIS User who needs access to enter data related to the Coordinated Entry System (CES) in Clarity (including entering information into the CES Triage Tool for clients you are working with and/or accepting referrals to a permanent housing program) must attend a CES Workflow in Clarity Training session before being granted access.

We are updating our training content in preparation for our new implementation of the FY2020 Coordinated Entry Data Standards launch on 10/1/2020. Please click here for more information under the “CES Training” section.

Focused HMIS Training Sessions

RTFH’s HMIS Team also offers focused training on specific HMIS topics and workflows. See above for more information about the HMIS New User Training.

Mandatory Focused Trainings (all Clarity HMIS Users):

In addition to the Clarity HMIS New User training, all HMIS users must complete the following trainings in order to obtain, or maintain, HMIS access.

New MPA Updates: HMIS and CIE Consent (Effective 4/1/2020)

HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials Webinar (8/22/2019)


Additional Focused Training Resources:

*Trainings below are optional*

HEAP Grantees: Zoomgrants Reporting (APR and Service Reports) (7/29/2020)

RRH Projects including Joint TH (01/13/2020)

HMIS Data Standards Updates FY 2020 (09/25/2019) – Effective in the HMIS as of 10/01/2019

Running and Utilizing the HUD Annual Performance Report (7/17/2019)

Clarity Training: Tools for Managers/Administrators (3/26/2019)

HMIS Workflow for Street Outreach Teams (06/23/2022)


Feedback from the community is invaluable to the HMIS team in deciding what to develop content on and how to improve our current training. Please share your feedback, ideas and needs for HMIS training by emailing the Support team at support@rtfhsd.org.

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