Opening Doors Northwest Florida

HMIS - Homeless Management Information System

Opening Doors Northwest Florida administers the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) for Escambia and Santa Rosa counties. Agencies that serve the homeless in our area are encouraged to utilize our HMIS, as it helps reduce duplication of services. It also allows us to measure our area's effectiveness at meeting the needs of the homeless in Escambia and Santa Rosa. Agencies interested in using the local HMIS should contact our HMIS Department.

What is HMIS?

Homeless Management Information Systems (HMIS) are web-based software applications designed to record and store client-level information on the demographic characteristics and service needs of people experiencing homelessness or homelessness risk. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development authorizes the HMIS, requiring CoCs to adopt and follow the HMIS Data and Technical Standards. HMIS became a statutory requirement for programs receiving federal funding through Continuum of Care (CoC), Emergency Solutions Grant (ESG), Runaway Homeless Youth (RHY) Programs, Veteran Affairs Supportive Services for Veteran Families (VA-SSVF), certain Housing Opportunities for Persons With HIV/AIDS (HOPWA) Programs, and PATH Programs. However, CoCs are encouraged to involve all local service providers in its use regardless of funding source. CoCs have implemented the use of HMIS in more than 400 communities nationwide.

Each CoC has a designated HMIS Lead Agency that manages and provides oversight at the local level. For CoC FL511, the HMIS Lead Agency is Opening Doors NW FL for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. HMIS systems contain demographic information about each person who uses a program within the homeless response system, including street outreach, emergency shelters, rapid rehousing programs, transitional housing programs, and permanent supportive housing.

The HMIS can provide aggregate reports on services provided in a specific program and a unique count of people who have accessed the homeless response system. Communities use HMIS reporting to understand local needs and trends among specific subpopulations of people experiencing homelessness. Further, CoCs use reports to measure the performance of their approaches to preventing and ending homelessness. All the work of CoCs at the local level culminates into the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) that HUD reports to federal policymakers.

Public Notice of Data Collection

FL511: Continuum of Care

Program Management Information System of the Southeast (PromisSE) dba:
Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

Opening Doors Northwest Florida, Inc. is an HMIS Participating Agency in FL-511. We collect personal information directly from you for reasons that are discussed in our privacy statement. We may be required to collect some personal information by law or by organizations that give us money to operate this program. Other personal information that we collect is important to run our programs, to improve services for homeless and at-risk persons, and to better understand the needs of homeless and at-risk persons. We only collect information that we consider to be appropriate.

The collection and use of all personal information is guided by strict standards of confidentiality. A copy of our Privacy Notice describing our privacy practice is available to all clients upon request.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do HMIS user licenses work?

Anyone who uses HMIS in CoC FL-511 must complete training to obtain their own license – sharing of licenses or passwords is strictly prohibited. Users who work at multiple agencies will need a separate user license for each agency where they use HMIS.

What do I need to do if one of my HMIS users no longer needs a license?

To maintain the security of the data in HMIS, your agency must notify Opening Doors’ Support Desk within 24 hours when a user leaves the agency or no longer needs to use HMIS so that we can deactivate the user’s license and prevent them from accessing HMIS. When you contact the Support Desk, please let us know whether you want to keep the user’s license assigned to your agency so it can be transferred to a new user once they complete training. If you will not have another user that needs a license soon, we can delete the license and credit your agency for any time remaining on the license at that point.

How do I get an HMIS user license for myself or a member of my staff?

Before a user can get an HMIS license, they will need to complete PromisSE HMIS Training to learn how to enter client data and generate reports for your agency; both new and returning users are required to participate in training. Once your user has completed training, they will be set up with a user account on the ServicePoint live site. If your agency does not have any open licenses available to assign to a new user, we will set your user up with a brand-new license and send your agency a separate invoice for a prorated license fee to cover the time between when your user completed training and your agency’s annual license renewal date. If your agency has an unused license available to be transferred to the new user, no additional money will be owed until your next annual license renewal date.

How Much Does HMIS Cost?

The fees associated with HMIS can be found here: