All agencies participating in the Coalition utilize a common human services database system called a Homeless Management Information System, or "HMIS". The HMIS is specifically designed to capture information on the characteristics and services needs of persons experiencing homelessness, or at risk of homelessness. An HMIS allows for the aggregation of consumer-level data within and across human services agencies to produce unduplicated counts and identify service patterns of consumers. Implementation of an HMIS is a requirement of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) McKinney-Vento funding
HMIS as a Community Information Resource
An HMIS serves as a powerful community resource on the nature of homelessness in our area. As more agencies that serve persons experiencing, or at risk of experiencing homelessness in our area utilize the Coalition's HMIS, the stronger and more comprehensive it will become. For this reason, the Lowcountry Homeless Coalition strives to reach out to other service providers in our area to join the Coalition and share data in our HMIS. In this way, together we will be able to illustrate a more complete picture of homelessness in our communities and use this information for area-wide planning and service coordination.
Benefits of Utilizing HMIS
In addition to making our Coalition's HMIS more comprehensive, there are many benefits to agencies that utilize an HMIS.
- Collect basic demographic data as well as program-specific data including income and disability information on all consumers
- Build and customize forms in the HMIS to go paperless, or to track additional specialized information on consumers
- Record all aspects of services provided for consumers including the frequency of services, costs, service providers or case workers affiliated with the service, and case notes describing client progress/status
- Run customizable reports on all information that you enter into the HMIS:
- Run reports to track program performance
- Monitor staff activity
- Quickly identify trends in consumer behavior, successes, and difficulties
- View shelter vacancies, bed utilization rates
- Easily create your own reports to highlight program successes and attributes for funders or the public
- Track client progress towards goals and objectives using functionality designed specifically for this purpose
- Assists staff in managing all aspects of service provision through each stage of your continuum of care
- Provides administrative data to inform the community planning and needs assessment process
- Allows secure e-mail messaging for staff throughout
- Generates HUD's Annual Progress Report and is customizable to generate reports for other Federal, State and Local funders
- Manage all appointments for staff and clients using the calendar functionality
Interested in Learning More?
If you would like to learn more about our Coalition's HMIS or have questions about implementing HMIS at your agency, please contact: