Homeless Management Information System (HMIS)

HMIS Questions / Information
What is the HMIS System?
It is a networked, computerized record keeping system. HMIS stands for Homeless Management Information System, and is a requirement for all programs and agencies providing services to low-income and homeless households with the support of McKinney-Vento Act federal funds.

What is the purpose of the HMIS System?
The HMIS is used by homeless provider agencies to record information about clients that they serve. This information helps the agencies plan for and provide services to clients. This information can also be shared among agencies – in order to improve the coordination and delivery of your services, but only if you, the client, agree to have your information shared with other agencies.

Why is this type of information being collected?
A summary of the information gathered from clients will be used to advocate for more adequate resources for homeless people. Gathering certain basic information (race, date of birth, family size, etc.) about you and the members of your household is also a requirement of the federal and local funding which supports this program.

How can the HMIS System benefit me, the client?
By gathering this information on you only once – so you can be served by other agencies without reporting all the details (date of birth, social security number, last address, etc.) again and again. If there is a reason that providing your name or the name of other members of your household would place you (or your household member) at risk, then you can request that your information NOT be shared with other agencies. You have the right to revoke the sharing of your information at any time simply by completing a “Client Revocation of Consent to Release Information” form. This form is available at any HMIS-participating agency. Also, by using the information you provide for the HMIS, you and your case worker can work together to identify the services you need and work to obtain them.

What are your rights as a client?
You may be required to answer some questions as a prerequisite for a program, but there will be other questions you can choose not to answer. You have a right to view your record and to correct inaccurate information. You also have a right to a copy of your record. We will also NEVER give any information (health, medical needs, mental health, domestic violence, or Case Notes etc.) about you to anyone outside this organization, UNLESS YOU GIVE WRITTEN CONSENT, or as required by law through a subpoena or a court order. If you choose to not answer any questions at all, you may not be able to receive services from this agency.