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.
What is the Local HMIS?
Opening Doors Northwest Florida has teamed up with 11 other continuum of care lead agencies across Florida and Alabama into a united HMIS implementation of WellSky Community Services.
Locally, we have partnered with an array of agencies. We are continuously looking for new service providers in Escambia and Santa Rosa counties to partner with.