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.
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.
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
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 Data Standards
- HUD Exchange page with most current Data Standards Manual and Dictionary
- HMIS Program-Specific Data Manuals
HMIS Training Resources
HMIS Training Documents and Guides
- CoC HEAP Instances of Service Guide
- HMIS Data Standards Updates FY 2020 Slide Deck
- HMIS Current Living Situation Data Entry Guide
- HMIS Cheat Sheet – How to Document MPA Declines/Revocations
- HMIS Updates for Joint-TH-RRH Projects | Aug 2018
- HMIS Open System Guidelines
To learn more about what HMIS training sessions are offered regularly and how to register for upcoming training opportunities, see the HMIS Training and Support page. You can access to materials for previously held sessions in the same page.
Refer to the HMIS Documents library
HMIS Policies and Procedures
Last Updated 1/27/2020
- HMIS Agency Participation Agreement
- HMIS Client Revocation of Authorization
- HMIS Grievance Procedure
- HMIS Legal Framework
- HMIS Mandatory Data Collection Notice
- HMIS-CIE Multiparty Authorization – Effective 04/01/2020
- HMIS Trust Network Agency List – updated 02/12/2020
- HMIS Notice of Privacy Practices
- HMIS Policies and Procedures Glossary
- HMIS Revision History
- HMIS User Agreement
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.
Clarity/HMIS New User Training
Due to the recent COVID-19 crisis we have postponed/canceled all upcoming in-person training sessions. Although we want to make sure we are upholding best community practices by cancelling these in-person trainings, we understand that users still need HMIS training in order to best serve our homeless community through this crisis. For this reason we will be holding a Live HMIS New User Webinar on April 8, 2020. In order to satisfy the HMIS New User Training requirements registrants will need to watch the webinar live and successfully complete a guided data entry practice. Please see below for all of the HMIS New User Training requirements and how to register for this Live HMIS New User Training webinar. Please keep in mind that these training requirements are for new users ONLY. Existing HMIS users do NOT need to attend this webinar. In order to obtain a Clarity user license, you must complete the following:
1. Live HMIS New User Webinar: Attend the Live New User Webinar session, and complete the guided data entry practice. Advance registration is required; please click the link below to register for this Webinar.
2. HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials Webinar and Quiz: All trainees 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.
3. The HMIS Agency Administrator for your organization must approve the fees associated with a new Clarity user license being activated.
Online registration is required in advance in order to attend a session. Use of a computer is required to complete training. This will be the only training scheduled for the time being, but we are planning to announce regular training sessions soon.
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.
CES Workflow in Clarity Training is offered by the RTFH CES Team through in-person sessions that are held several times a month at the RTFH offices in the United Way Building (4699 Murphy Canyon Road, San Diego). Sessions are generally scheduled to take place on the same day as Clarity/HMIS New User Training and start 45 minutes after the conclusion of Clarity/HMIS New User Training, so that new users who want to attend both Clarity/HMIS Training and CES Training in the same day can do so conveniently.
To view upcoming CES Training sessions and register online to reserve a space, view the RTFH Events Calendar. Online registration is required in advance in order to attend a session. A computer is not required for the CES Training session.
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)
2020 Coordinated Entry Updates (3/17/2020)
HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials Webinar (8/22/2019)
- Webinar recording
- Privacy and Security Quiz (see more details on this training requirement here)
- HMIS Cheat Sheet – How to Document MPA Declines/Revocations
- Slide deck from HMIS Privacy and Security Essentials webinar
Additional Focused Training Resources:
*Trainings below are optional*
- 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 – RTFH’s HMIS and CES teams have held a number of training sessions in the community for outreach teams on how to complete the HMIS workflow and their role in the CES process. A future session is being scheduled; to request a session, email the HMIS Support team.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest HMIS Documents