Why should we use HMIS?

The use of HMIS is vital to our community. Without it, we would be unable to understand exactly who is homeless in our community. We would be unable to identify the prevailing attributes and barriers that run parallel with homelessness, and advocate and plan for appropriate funding, support services and housing. Making homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring is a Continuum of Care’s goal, but even more important is the ability to measure these exact outcomes to know how well we are doing. We report these numbers to HUD every year with the System Performance Measures.

We also use HMIS data to identify persons that need an extra hand in obtaining housing and services. Our CoC keeps a “by-name” list of persons who are veterans and/or chronically homeless. The Built for Zero Case Conferencing group is comprised of local service providers, street outreach workers, Centralized Intake and shelter staff and veterans group finding ways to support and house high housing barrier households.

As HMIS users, the data you collect at the entry. move-in and program exit are vital in the effort to end homelessness. Timely input allows the Continuum to add your chronically homeless person to the case conferencing effort. Accurate information at intake allows us to determine who is chronically homeless, or a veteran, and create plans to help house these individuals. Complete HMIS information enables us to understand what homelessness looks like.

Our “By name” list is made of names collected in shelters, during street outreach and captured in coordinated entry calls.

As of September, we have housed over 42 people using the by name list and case conferencing. As we have found success, our HMIS participation has grown.