Homeless Management Information Systems (HMISs) have become standard fixtures in a growing number of communities around the country. With HMISs, jurisdictions can gather data on homelessness and service interventions over time. These longitudinal data can then be used to directly improve the effectiveness of the homeless shelter and service delivery system. HMISs are critical tools for policymakers seeking information about the extent and nature of homelessness as well as the effectiveness of resources invested to address the problem. While the expansion of HMISs presents an opportunity to affect homelessness at the local, state, and national levels, communities should be aware that in this rapidly changing technological environment, the quality of potential HMIS solutions varies.
This Consumer Guide is part of a national technical assistance (TA) initiative helping communities plan for, select, and implement HMISs that meet local service delivery and data collection objectives, as well as national policy goals.