HMIS Community Examples

The HEARTH Act, enacted into law on May 20, 2009, requires all communities to have an HMIS with the capacity to collect unduplicated counts of individuals and families experiencing homelessness. With enactment of the HEARTH Act, HMIS participation became a statutory requirement for recipients and subrecipients of the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program and Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG) funds.

The purpose of this page is to provide CoCs with a wide array of examples of HMIS documents that have been created by communities across the country. Ideally, by having these sample documents readily accessible online, communities will be able to identify aspects of HMIS administration and implementation that may work well for their own HMIS.


Disclaimer: These Community Example documents are not official HUD resources. These documents may not be in alignment with HUD guidance. Please review and use at your own risk.

Find by Topic

Implementation

Practical Strategies for Increasing HMIS Bed Coverage

This presentation provides users with a thorough understanding of the meaning and importance of bed coverage and the importance of implementing strategies and tools to successfully increase HMIS bed coverage.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2010

Developing a Disaster Plan and HMIS: Assessing Weakness, Discussing Options, Planning Strategy

This presentation from the 2006 National HMIS Conference discusses the fundamentals of disaster planning and how HMIS can be a key component in local disaster preparedness and recovery planning. It identifies important steps in developing an informed and effective business continuity and disaster recovery plan, and describes the similarities and differences in disaster planning for various types of natural and man-made disasters.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Grantee Self-Monitoring: Handout: Guidelines for Self-Assessment of HMIS Grantee Implementation and Operations

This document is a handout from the Guidelines for Grantee Self-Monitoring session presented at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration Training. This is the programmatic self-monitoring guide.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

HMIS Data Integration Checklist (Sample)

This checklist helps communities determine if they should engage in a system integration effort and guides them through the steps in the process. This document can be used as a community example, but it is not approved or endorsed by HUD.

Publication Information: Abt Associates | September 2008

Current Issues in Maintaining a Secure HMIS System: PKI Options, Cryptography, and Current Threats

This presentation attempts to de-mystify hashing, SSL, encryption, public/private keys and the basics tools to protect information. Using open source, free, or inexpensive solutions for inexpensively implementing PKI, firewalls, virus protection, VPN, backups, and other security requirements are also presented.

Publication Information: Canavan Associates | August 2008

Challenges to Implementing HMIS in Rural Communities

This document was developed by the Rural Subcommittee of the Southeastern Regional HMIS Collaborative to outline challenges and potential strategies to address these challenges.

Publication Information: Southeast Regional HMIS Collaborative | April 2008

Changing HMIS Software: What Do I Need to Know? When is the Right Time? What are the Cost Implications?

After several years of use, some communities realized that a different software product might better suit their needs. This presentation at the 2006 National HMIS Conference provides the experience of two communities that have made changes to their software and the process they undertook. A workbook of tools and sample documents are provided for participants including communication protocols, management plans, budget assessments, and evaluation documents.

Publication Information: HUD | April 2008

Using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a Tool for HMIS Decision Making

This presentation at the 2006 National HMIS Conference is Part 3 of More than #s and %s: Advanced Analysis and Modeling of HMIS Data. Analysis of HMIS data can be more valuable than generating numbers and percentages of clients served. Advanced uses of analysis include conducting spatial analysis with GIS, regression analysis, and multidimensional modeling. These analyses can help to understand the neighborhoods homeless people come from and how multiple characteristics of homeless persons interact and influence outcomes.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2006

Matching HMIS and Mainstream Databases: Possibilities and Challenges of Using Multiple Datasets for Research

This presentation from the 2006 National HMIS Conference focuses on the possibilities and the challenges of matching HMIS records with other datasets to evaluate linkages between homelessness and health care, mental health, prisons and the welfare system. The presentation explores the range of potential datasets available; technical, administrative, and policy approaches to accessing and matching the data; and lessons and findings from recent efforts to conduct research through linking multiple administrative systems.

Publication Information: HUD | June 2006

Jeopardy! What are Security and Risk Assessment Strategies for HMIS Grantees?

The Risk Assessment Institute at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration Training helps CoCs ensure that their HMIS is compliant with the HMIS security standards and prepared for threats that are most likely to disrupt a particular community's operation. Tools to help assess the greatest risks to their system and resources to mitigate the identified risks are discussed. Risks to the system are defined broadly and can encompass natural disasters, data theft, system failures, financial losses, personnel issues, and other threats.

Publication Information: HUD | June 2006

Safe Harbors Homeless Design Project

This guide is intended for researchers and program directors seeking information on the Safe Harbors data collection system in Seattle and King County, Washington. It provides a detailed overview and a proposed design for a countywide outcome-based, computerized, coordinated intake and referral system to facilitate timely, effective and efficient access to needed services.

Publication Information: City of Seattle, King County and United Way of King County | February 2001

Administration

HMIS Project Management Tools: HMIS Job Description: Project Director

This is a contract agreement to serve as an HMIS Project Director representing the consultant model of managing HMIS. The contract gives a detailed job description. It can be used as a community example, but has not been approved or endorsed by HUD.

Publication Information: Southeaster Regional HMIS Collaborative | April 2010

Deal or No Deal: Managing HMIS Vendor Relations and Contracting

This presentation at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration and Project Management Training provides an overview of the common provisions of HMIS hosting, software licensing, service, and implementation support contracts. It also includes a review of contracting processes, types of contracts, and contracting pitfalls. This presentation was produced for communities that are preparing to develop new or renewal contracts, terminating contracts, switching vendors, or challenged by difficult provisions in their existing agreements.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Grantee Self-Monitoring: Handout: HUD Field Office Feedback on SHP Self-Monitoring

This is a handout from the Guidelines for Grantee Self-Monitoring session presented at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration Training that focuses on HUD Field Office monitoring.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Guidelines and Strategies for Estimating and Controlling HMIS Costs

This document describes guidelines and strategies designed to support CoCs in estimating HMIS implementation and operational costs. It was a handout for the 2004 National HMIS Training: e-training and Webinars "HMIS Costs, Staffing & Funding Strategies."

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

The $25,000 Pyramid: Financial Management for HMIS Grantees

This presentation addresses a range of fiscal topics including key financial management standards, the applicability of OMB cost principles, budget tracking and management, procurement and property control, and cash match requirements and documentation. It was presented at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration and Project Management Training and includes nine handouts.

Publication Information: HUD | July 2008

Calculating the HMIS Budget and Schedule Impact of Scope Changes

This document was originally created for the 2004 HMIS Training: e-training and Webinars: Project Management for HMIS Implementation and Operation. It outlines the impacts that scope changes have on the budget and schedule.

Publication Information: HUD | January 2008

Basic HMIS System Administration: Handout: Skills You Need to Manage Your System, Users, and Vendor

These handouts are part of the 2006 HMIS Training: e-training and Webinars: Basic System Administration: The Skills You Need to Manage Your System, Users, and Vendor. The handout includes sample agency communication documents and sample data quality reports.

Publication Information: Center for Social Policy - McCormack Graduate School of Policy Studies & the QED Group | September 2007

Participation and Engagement

CoC and ED Collaboration Case Study: CoC and School System Share HMIS Data in Waco, Texas

Communities across the country have been developing innovative collaborations between housing and service providers who assist individuals and families experiencing homelessness and the education community. This Continuum of Care (CoC) and Education (ED) Collaboration Case Study describes a promising practice in Waco, Texas between the CoC and the Waco Independent School District (WISD). These organizations work together using the local CoC’s Homeless Management Information System (HMIS). The system connects the schools more broadly to the housing and service community while the HMIS data aids the CoC and WISD in effectively linking students with unmet needs and their families to community resources. This case study shares the challenges that the community has experienced, resources and strategies that have supported their success, and the key lessons learned from this partnership.

Publication Information: HUD | February 2016

Faith-Based Engagement Talking Points

This document provides a basic framework for discussions with faith-based providers and recognizes that each HMIS implementation will have unique situations within its community that are not addressed. It was developed by the Faith-Based Initiative, a sub-committee of the Southeast Region HMIS Collaborative (SERHC), and proposes talking points to give HMIS implementations direction and language for approaching faith-based providers with an opportunity for contribution. These points address the benefits of joining an HMIS for data collection, community collaboration, and increased coordination among all service providers.

Publication Information: Southeast Region HMIS Collaborative (SERHC) | October 2008

Engaging Non-HUD Funded Homeless Providers

This presentation from the 2005 National HMIS Conference shares strategies on how to successfully engage non-publicly funded providers to collect, and sometimes share, client-level HMIS data. Every community has challenges getting all of their providers to participate, but there are unique challenges associated with engaging non-HUD funded providers. Privately funded and faith-based providers account for a significant portion of beds in many communities.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Strategies for Involving Consumers in HMIS Operation

This presentation from the 2005 National HMIS Conference explores methods of involving consumers in HMIS implementation including discussion of consumers as staff, committee members, or project advisors.

Publication Information: HUD | June 2007

Involving Consumers in HMIS

This presentation from the 2004 National HMIS Conference outlines a strategy for consumer participation and empowerment. It addresses how HMIS administrators and system planners could involve consumers as decision-making partners in the HMIS planning and development process, as well as why consumer participation is so important.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2006

Involving Consumers in HMIS Handout (Real Roles for Consumers in HMIS)

This handout accompanied the 2004 National HMIS Conference presentation Involving Consumers in HMIS. It illustrates real life examples of how homeless and formerly homeless consumers can be involved in HMIS planning and implementation.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2006

Reports and Surveys to Increase Participation in HMIS (Sample)

This document contains sample materials that can help increase participation in HMIS. The document includes connectivity grant requests, sample regional, funder, and agency reports, surveys for prospective users, and satisfaction surveys for current users. This set of handouts originally accompanied a conference call series entitled "Increasing Participation in HMIS."

Publication Information: HUD | October 2006

Data Collection and Quality

Self Sufficiency Matrix: Using HMIS to Benchmark Progress (Sample)

This document is Arizona's self-sufficiency matrix and was provided as a handout at the 2006 HMIS Conference session: Using HMIS to Benchmark Progress on HUD's Goals and Local Plans to End Homelessness.

Publication Information: Arizona | June 2011

HMIS Quality Assurance and Data Quality

This presentation from the 2004 National HMIS Conference presents case studies from two communities that have developed comprehensive quality assurance processes and data quality standards to assure that data is timely, complete, and accurate. Specific examples of data quality processes employed on the front end during data entry and on the back end in the form of cleansing and monitoring will be shared.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2010

AHAR Data Quality Conference Call: Handout 5: Sample Data Quality Plan

This document prepared for the AHAR Data Quality Conference Call is a sample data quality plan, originally developed in Columbus, Ohio.

Publication Information: Community Shelter Board, Columbus, Ohio | August 2010

Sample Memo from Program Director on HMIS Data Quality

This is a sample director memo on data quality. The sample letter is addressed to all staff members in an agency and highlights the importance of entering data accurately and completely.

Publication Information: HUD | January 2010

HMIS Sample Data Quality Log

This sample log records the date of issue, nature of issue/specific reference, client ID, date of resolution, and nature of resolution. A Data Quality Log is a spreadsheet or other document used for tracking issues and questions related to accuracy and completeness of data at the provider level. A log facilitates communication between those who collect data and those who enter information into the HMIS. For example, if something written on a paper form is illegible or seems incorrect, the data entry staff can record the issue in the log to ensure that it is resolved by the case manager.

Publication Information: HUD | August 2009

Enhancing HMIS Data Quality

This document describes program and system level strategies to improve data quality. Separate chapters provide information and tips for front-line and data entry staff, program directors, CoC and implementation-level HMIS managers and administrators, and software providers. The appendices include valuable resources, such as a sample data collection form, a list of validation checks for particular fields, and sample data quality reports.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Strategies to Ensure HMIS Data Quality

This presentation from the 2006 National HMIS Conference provides tips and tricks to collecting, entering, and reporting valid reliable data. The importance of data quality for HMIS is presented with concrete real world examples of types of data quality checking that should be done, reports that can be used, and incentives to encourage users to enter quality data.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Handout: Email Tips

This handout accompanying the training Garbage In, Garbage Out: Strategies to Ensure Data Quality includes sample "tip-of-the-week" emails.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

2007 HMIS Grant Administration Training: Handout 1: Data Quality Reports To Tell the Truth

This is a handout from the Using HMIS Data to Accurately Complete Exhibit 1 session presented at the 2007 HMIS Grant Administration and Project Management Training. It focuses on using data quality reports at the local level.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

HMIS Data Quality Plan Worksheet

This document lists a series of questions to consider to ensure data quality around the four data general quality principles: timeliness, completeness, accuracy, and consistency. It is intended as a guide for creating and implementing benchmarks for HMIS implementation in assuring quality data to help better understand and address homelessness in communities.

Publication Information: HUD | September 2008

Methods to Answer Research Questions: Presentation by Dr. Burt

In this 2004 HMIS Training: e-training and Webinars, Dr. Martha Burt focuses on determining what type of data a community needs to answer specific questions, figuring out what data the community already has and what more they will need to collect, and using those answers to move toward a community's goals.

Publication Information: HUD | May 2006

Methods to Answer Research Questions: Presentation by Dr. Meschede

In this presentation from the 2004 National HMIS Conference, Dr. Meschede asks the questions: "Does the data collected say what you think it does?" and " Did you collect the data needed to answer your research questions?" This presentation explores methods for data collection and analysis as well as data interpretation.

Publication Information: HUD | May 2006

Data Use

Using HMIS for PIT Counts Presentation

This presentation is a review of HUD standard for conducting and reporting on Point-in-Time counts of homeless people. Users will understand strategies for incorporating HMIS into PIT counts and learn about challenges and benefits of integrating HMIS in the PIT count process.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2010

Building Knowledge, Effectiveness, and Capacity: Advancing Data on Homelessness in Eleven Communities

This document exemplifies case studies of eleven communities that have creatively utilized data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for enhanced system effectiveness. The case studies can be used by readers to assist in designing local practices and methodologies.

Publication Information: Cloudburst | June 2010

Demonstrating the Uses of Homeless Data at the Local Level: Case Studies from Nine Communities

In April 2007, HUD convened the first Advanced Homeless Data Users Meeting in New Orleans, LA. The purpose of the meeting was to facilitate peer-to-peer learning between communities who demonstrated advanced uses of homeless data at the local level for CoC planning, management, program evaluation, or decision making. HUD published a case study on each of the nine communities that presented at the meeting, highlighting their innovative and unique uses of HMIS data.

Publication Information: Cloudburst | October 2008

Uses of HMIS to Support Disaster Operations and Recovery: Lessons Learned from Katrina/Rita

This presentation from the 2006 National HMIS Conference explores how communities used HMIS to manage shelters, locate resources, obtain benefits, find missing relatives, and coordinate case management in the days and months following the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Both the Gulf Coast and communities that housed large numbers of evacuees relied upon HMIS to assist in disaster recovery efforts. It further discusses how to manage the effects of mission and systems overlap between disaster systems (American Red Cross/CAN) and homeless systems (CoCs/HMIS). The presenters answer critical questions, including: Does HMIS belong in a disaster shelter? Can high volumes of divergent resource information be quickly and effectively imported into an HMIS database? How can HMIS help victims obtain disaster relief benefits and services?

Publication Information: HUD | June 2006

Privacy and Security

HMIS Client Consent Form: Informed Consent Agreement (Sample)

This is an example of an informed consent agreement. The document informs clients about services, fees, records, and limitations that may affect the client. It can be used as a community example, but has not been approved or endorsed by HUD.

Publication Information: Pinnacle Community Services | June 2011

HMIS Security Brochure

This is a copy of the HMIS Security Brochure presented with the 2008 HMIS Training: HMIS 101 presentation.

This document accompanies the HMIS 101: Orientation for New Grantees and Staff Training. Click here to access the training and other accompanying materials.

Publication Information: Maine State Housing Authority | May 2010

HMIS Privacy TA Conference Call: Overview

This document provides a general description of privacy documents required and not required by HUD, as well as descriptions of different types of privacy agreements. It was part of a national conference call entitled How to Develop Client Notification and Consent Policies, Procedures, and Documents, and is consistent with the HMIS Data and Technical Standards Final Notice.

Publication Information: QED Group | May 2010

Public Access Control: Community Strategies for HMIS Implementation

This paper documents several communities' experiences working to implement Public Access Control, which is the security standard requiring that HMIS "must be secured to allow only connections from previously approved computers and systems through Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) certificates, or extranets that limit access based on the Internet Provider (IP) address, or similar means."

Publication Information: HUD | October 2008

HMIS Privacy Notice Development Template

This document is intended to help communities create their privacy notice. Using a step-by-step approach, the document leads a community through critical decisions that must be made at the local level to inform a privacy notice.

Publication Information: HUD | October 2006

Performance Measurement

Using HMIS to Benchmark Progress: Handout: Homeless Evaluation Progress Report

This document is a handout from the 2006 National HMIS Training: e-training and Webinars: Using HMIS to Benchmark Progress on HUD's Goals and Local Plans to End Homelessness.

Publication Information: HUD | June 2011

Using HMIS to Benchmark Progress on HUD's Goals and Local Plans to End Homelessness

This session at the 2006 National HMIS Conference draws upon the success of jurisdictions that have begun to use HMIS effectively. HMIS can be used to track client-outcomes that are the basis of HUD's goal to end chronic homelessness and move homeless individuals and families into permanent housing; these same goals are often incorporated into local plans to end homelessness. HMIS can be an invaluable tool for communities to monitor progress on local plans, track performance of locally-funded projects, inform resource allocation, and promote investment in evidenced-based practices. Note that there is some overlap with the Using HMIS Data for Research and Evaluation session.

Publication Information: HUD | February 2011

HEARTH/HMIS Conference Materials: Homeless Systems and Performance Measurement

These Homeless Systems and Performance Measurement materials were delivered at the HEARTH/HMIS Conferences in September 2010 in Denver, CO (September 14-17) and in Atlanta, GA (September 27-30, 2010).

Publication Information: HUD | September 2010

Using HMIS to Inform Performance Measurement Outcomes

This presentation from the 2010 Florida HMIS Conference discusses the use of HMIS to inform performance measurement outcomes.

Publication Information: Canavan Associates | May 2010