In 2001, Congress directed HUD to implement a national data collection system to produce an unduplicated count of persons using homeless services. The Homeless Management Information System (HMIS) is a computerized data collection system used by multiple agencies to capture the number, characteristics and demographic information of persons utilizing these services. HUD did not create this database, nor was a specified vendor required. All communities are, instead, required to create their own compliant, relational database or contract individually with an outside software vendor. MUTEH, Inc., at the direction of, and cooperation with, the MUTEH Board of Directors, chose the vendor Foothold Technology and the software AWARDS for this purpose in 2008 and has maintained that relationship through the present day. MUTEH Inc. is now designated as the CoC HMIS Lead.
What is HMIS?
HMIS is a coordinated system of computers that enable service, shelter, and housing providers in different locations across a continuum (community, county, or state) to collect and share information about the homeless individuals and families seeking services within their continuum.
This system of computers allows users to collect and store information that can be used to enhance service delivery for their consumers as well as generate required reports for different funding sources, including the Annual Progress Report (APR) for HUD.
MUTEH provides initial data entry and setup, onsite trainings, and continued support from the MUTEH HMIS staff to support agencies in their data collection and reporting. This equips agencies of any size to accurately track client level data that will ultimately aid in the analysis of patterns in program usage.
The MUTEH, Inc. HMIS has a tremendous capacity to strengthen the collaboration among homeless service providers. Utilizing this coordinated system to count and track homeless trends in the region, the MSHMIS program gives providers the ability to collect data using a universal language accepted by HUD and, increasingly, other State, Federal and Private funders. Methods and procedures for recording use of service are standardized, thereby giving all service providers a common denominator for discussions about the quantity and quality of services. Perhaps most importantly, homeless services providers, at the community, State and Federal level are working together to track those activities and trends. This information is then used at each level for allocation of funding and community planning.
To view the agreement establishing MUTEH, Inc. as the MS BoS CoC HMIS Lead, see our CoC HMIS Agreement.
Purpose of the MSHMIS
- To meet HUD’s requirement to produce an unduplicated count of homeless persons and households
- To understand the nature and scope of homelessness
- To develop, foster and maintain regional collaboration
- To facilitate continuity of care in homeless services
- To assist in the development of programs addressing the needs of homeless individuals and families through the collection and distribution of aggregate, nonPPI data
- Unduplicated count: The MSHMIS will provide an unduplicated count of the number of individuals accessing services from homeless service providers in the region.
- Service tracking and trends: The MSHMIS will identify demographic and service utilization trends.
- Enhanced service delivery: Through tracking client service trends, the MSHMIS will identify service areas in need of enhancement and growth.
- Information for policymaking: Aggregate data will be shared with homeless service advocates, government officials and researchers. This information will better inform our understanding of homelessness and guide public policy and program development.
For general information about the MUTEH, Inc. MSHMIS or the policies and procedures contained in this document, please contact the MSHMIS Coordinator, Bethany Latham at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (601) 960-0557 ext. 303. For information about becoming part of the MUTEH, Inc. MSHMIS, please contact the Program Director, Ledger Parker, at email@example.com or by phone at (601) 960-0557 ext. 304.
To visit the MUTEH HMIS: click here
To visit MUTEH Inc.: www.muteh.org