What is HMIS and how can it help us end homelessness?
The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is an electronic database used to house characteristic and service needs information of individuals experiencing homelessness. The program was developed in in response to a mandate by Congress requiring states to collect data in order to receive funds from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to address homelessness.
Why is this necessary?
Each year, Sacramento Steps Forward conducts a Point-in-Time Count of individuals experiencing homelessness in an effort to determine the number of homeless in our region. Our team of staff and volunteers take to the streets for one night throughout the Sacramento region to talk to individuals experiencing homelessness in an effort to gather demographic and living condition data. These counts are crucial for SSF to ensure proper funding is available for homeless service providers, as well as enough available beds and housing to move individuals into as soon as they are ready.
Our PIT Counts are important, but unfortunately, they’re not enough. Using HMIS will help us to provide an accurate and more consistent representation of our region’s homeless population. SSF, along with DHA, are requiring all of our HUD-funded and County-funded homeless programs to participate in the HMIS. This effort allows for more accurate reporting of individuals experiencing homelessness and less duplication. With more accurate data we are able to have a stronger impact on policy at the local, state and federal level.
Not all of the homeless service providers in the Sacramento region are using HMIS, but SSF is taking strides to turn that around. SSF conducts monthly User Meetings to aid in community building and HMIS networking across the Continuum of Care. These meetings serve as a place for communication about HMIS so we can better address the needs of our network of service providers and their front line staff. SSF’s HMIS Analyst, Manjit Kaur, provides ongoing training and support for users via email, phone and onsite visits.
Data collection, in an effort to evaluate the effectiveness of homeless programs, is one of the five key components to ending homelessness in Sacramento. HMIS plays an vital role in allowing us to assess the depth of homelessness in our region, and allows us to plan for, and create, solutions.
Have a Question?
For questions regarding user accounts, running reports, or training in HMIS, please email or call:
Manjit Kaur, HMIS Analyst
Sacramento Steps Forward
1331 Garden Hwy., Suite 100
Sacramento, CA 95833
Direct Phone#: 916.993.7703