HUD expects CoCs to use HMIS data to track their progress in meeting CoC and project-specific performance goals, to support community-wide planning, and to identify how best to direct resources to prevent and end homelessness. CoCs need high-quality HMIS data to complete the homelessness components of the Consolidated Plan and to meet HUD reporting requirements, such as the required Annual Performance Report (APR) and Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR). Finally, HMIS data are essential to documenting a CoC’s qualifications as a high-performing community.
Our Continuum is made of a network of nonprofits and government agencies working together in a system created to reduce homelessness. Part of this system uses outcomes to see how well we are doing. We need to increase HMIS participation.
To access the HCIS, Agencies must meet the following HCIS participation requirements (Effective 6/15/2017)
All who want to use this system must:
- Meet technical requirements for using HCIS (detailed in the current policies and procedures manual).
- Be trained in the use of the system, including training on client privacy and confidentiality, and agree to and sign the user agreement.
- Be a participating member of the Continuum of Care.
- Have a signed agency agreement on file with Homeward.
- Have a valid business purpose or mission for using HCIS.
- Be a legal entity that exists (at least in part) to address homelessness.
- Be a nonprofit or government entity.
Some who use the system receive state or federal funding that requires participation in HCIS.
For agencies that are not required to use HCIS by their funder, we may require a probationary period of six months to ensure that the system is being used as intended. Also, any agencies not funded by the state (DHCD) or federal government (HUD) should:
- Provide a description of how it will meet the technical requirements necessary to use HCIS.
- Describe the purpose for using HCIS and the specific projects you would want to track in the system.
- Describe your organizational policies re: client confidentiality and privacy, particularly as they relate to social media.
Applications from agencies that are not required to use HCIS will be reviewed by the HMIS policies committee and recommended for approval/disapproval to the appropriate CoC Board. The CoC Board has final decision-making authority on approval/disapproval. If any agency disagrees with the CoC Board’s decision, it can appeal to the Board and provide additional information to support its case.