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 Continua 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 the Homeless 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.